On Saturday 18 November, CAFOD supporters from across the Archdiocese of Cardiff travelled to the peaceful environs of the Tŷ Croeso centre just outside Cwmbran in south-east Wales (for those of you who don’t know this beautiful part of the world) for a retreat on Blessed Oscar Romero, lead by Libby Abbott from our Campaigns team in Romero House, London.
The Ty Croeso centre is part of Llantarnam Abbey, a former Cistercian monastery and home to the Sisters of St Joseph of Annecy. It was the perfect setting for our Romero retreat: “Journey to Justice” and as always there was a warm welcome from the Sisters as we all arrived, during the excellent soup lunch and throughout the day generally.
Libby Abbott reminded us that listening to the poor, reflecting on the Scriptures and engaging with political realities transformed Oscar Romero into one of the Church’s most respected and inspirational figures. His legacy of radical love lives on 100 years after this birth.
We were all invited to explore how Romero’s life and faith could inspire and challenge us and transform our own world. We took time out to reflect on our own journeys of transformation, and we were all inspired and enriched by stories of those who continue to speak out for justice today.
Here are some of the people who continue to fight for basic human rights and social justice.
Libby guided us all on Romero’s journey, asking us to link it with our own and guiding us in a gentle and calm way throughout the day.
Our supporters were very positive in their feedback, especially around the inclusion of silence, as well as a chance to go deeper with our work, especially being asked to reflect deeply about it through the prism of Romero’s passion for truth, reconciliation and justice.
If we are worth anything, it is not because we have more money or more talent, or more human qualities. Insofar as we are worth anything, it is because we are grafted onto Christ’s life, his cross and resurrection. That is a person’s measure. Oscar Romero
Following testimonies from individuals who are campaigning for social justice in their own countries, despite enormous personal threats and danger, we all prayed for the courage to speak out more ourselves. To care less about our own self-image and more about the rights of the poor and marginalised.
Libby explained that CAFOD’s campaigning tackles the causes of poverty and hunger, not just the symptoms.
Speaking out for justice goes hand in hand with our work overseas to help vulnerable families and communities to flourish.
It enables us to help thousands more communities than we could through fundraising alone, by advocating for changes in policy and practice to reduce poverty overseas.
It includes political campaigning, but it is not party political.
Find out more about using your voice for good by signing up to be an MPC – someone who writes to their local MP about four times a year, raising issues of global poverty and social and economic justice. It’s about building a personal relationship and giving your MP a mandate to act. And being the voice of the voiceless. Sign up here.
Find out more about campaigning with us.