Remembering in November

The Church encourages us to celebrate our loved ones and to give thanks for the people who have loved and influenced us. There is no doubt that it’s always a shock to lose members of our family, friends or colleagues and it brings great sadness but we give thanks for their lives, pray that they know peace and try to make sure their work for justice continues.

As Chris Bain, the director of CAFOD put it:  “…And of course CAFOD has been so blessed over the years by our friends who have shown such inspiring commitment and solidarity to our work and to communities around the world. Whether through volunteering, donations, prayers or campaigning, their dedication has made our work possible. They have played a crucial role in the fight for justice and an end to poverty, and the love they shared lives on in the lives of all those who have been touched by their kindness and compassion.”

We are so grateful for the support of our clergy in the Archdiocese for celebrating our Memorial Masses: Father Matthew Carney in Our Lady’s in Hereford and Father Mansel Usher in Mumbles.

As part of the Offertory procession at each Mass we presented a Book of Remembrance for each Diocese which included names of supporters who have sadly passed away during the year.  These Books of Remembrance have been left with each parish for the year.

It was lovely to see so many parishioners taking an active part in the Mass, by reading, leading the prayers of intercession,  taking up the Offertory, leading the singing or providing the refreshments afterwards.  I felt truly heartened by the spirit of friendship and caring responses from people who attended.

Information about some of the other ways that we can remember our loved ones was left in both parishes.

We have learned over the years that people want to know more about how to mark someone’s life by make a lasting tribute.  When someone we love dies, finding a positive way to celebrate their life and spirit can help us to find strength and hope.

So the following is some information about Remembrance giving that may be of interest.

Many supporters like to remember a loved on by setting up a Candelight fund.  Just as we light a candle for a loved one who’s passed away, creating a Candlelight Fund in their name is a special way to remember them.

Candlelight funds celebrate a life and touch thousands more.  They provide a way for you to build a lasting memorial to your loved one by combining all donations made in their memory.  This can be a personal act of remembrance or you can invite others to join you.  There are absolutely no fundraising targets, deadlines or minimum amounts involved: this is your fund and you can grow it in whatever way feels comfortable.

Lots of our funds are now online so friends and family can donate easily and whenever suits them. See an example of a candlelight webpage here.

If there was a particular area of our work that meant a lot to your loved one, we will do our best to accommodate that.

Leaving a gift in your will to a charity like CAFOD is another wonderful way to ensure that your faith, love and compassion live on and reach out to future generations affected by poverty and injustice.

Legacy gifts help CAFOD to respond quickly when emergencies strike and to make long-term commitments to communities to help them overcome poverty and injustice.

It’s a pretty stark fact, but one in eight of all the people we reached last year were helped by gifts in supporters’ wills.

Without them, many of our projects would simply not be possible.

CAFOD is proud to be a member of Your Catholic Legacy  – a group of 27 charities working together to protect the future of Catholic good causes by spreading the word about legacy gifts in wills.  Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark (previously Archbishop of Cardiff) said:

“Legacies play a crucial role in funding the work of Catholic charities. No matter how big or small, a charitable gift in your will brings hope to poor communities across the globe, enables the sharing of God’s love and provides those in greatest need with a vital lifeline.”

Whether you leave a little something for your local community, a national service or aid projects and missions in developing countries; you can leave a legacy of love and hope to people in their hour of need.

Lord of life and love, as we give thanks for times past, grant us the courage to embrace the present and grace to share the future.  In memory of loved ones dear, kindle their flame to shine in the dark and light the path ahead.  Show the way that leads to life as we cherish days gone by and inspire us with the touch of love that faith and hope live on.

Annabel Shilson-Thomas

Therese Warwick, CAFOD Community Participation Co-ordinator in Cardiff and Menevia said: “The Memorial Mass is a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to the many brilliant people who have been at the heart of our work over many years: inspirational volunteers and supporters who gave up their precious time to offer love, practical support and prayers for the world’s most vulnerable communities. They continue to inspire us all today.”

 

 

 

 

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