Getting Hands On for Colombia

Parish fundraiser invites overseas speaker to parish soup lunch at 12:00 pm, to tell us how we can get Hands On in Colombia.

We welcome Barbara Davies-Quy, our Country Representative for Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. She will be giving a talk in Porthcawl, at the parish of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, on Saturday 16 February, at 1:00 pm. Continue reading

Become a CAFOD Climate Champion

Are you passionate about climate change and poverty? Are you aged 18-35? If you answered yes to both of these questions then you could be one of our next Climate Champions.

Helping tackle climate change and poverty are both fundamental parts of our Catholic faith. This opportunity will give you the chance to meet like-minded people from across Europe who, like you, are interested in improving our world and responding to climate change.

During this experience, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Get involved in fundraising events
  • Inspire others to take part in CAFOD’s new climate campaign, Our Common Home
  • Meet your local MP
  • Experience a mass lobby of Parliament
  • Take part in a residential weekend

This is the perfect opportunity for people who are interested in improving our world’s sustainability and want to share their enthusiasm with others. We are keen to recruit individuals from any background, with a range of skills and experience.

How to get involved:

To apply or to find out more, please visit the following link: https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/How-to-Campaign/Climate-Champions and complete the attached form. Or contact Libby Abbot on 0303 303 3030; or labbott@cafod.org.uk

“No one beyond reach” talk by Geoff O’Donoghue

Our very own Director of Operations will be visiting Mumbles parish to share our new ambition, “No one beyond reach” as part of their Lenten lunch.

Geoff O’Donoghue, on Saturday 9 March, at Our Lady, Star of the Sea parish in Mumbles, Swansea, will share his experiences of working with communities across the globe and how we are transforming lives and bringing lasting change.

He will begin at 11:30 am and as well as this, the parish are providing coffee and cakes after Mass, and a soup lunch to follow. Among them are our parish volunteers, Sue Philippart and Sarah O’Kane, both part of our Education volunteer team, who will also be taking part in this day.

Geoff will be talking about our new ambition, “No one beyond reach”, which highlights how we are part of a global Catholic network and local presence and how we have the potential to reach everyone. We know that one in three requests for help have to be turned away and so, we know we can do more to reach and support more people and communities.

Memorial Mass for Cardiff Archdiocese

This year’s Memorial Mass for the Cardiff Archdiocese was held at St Helen’s parish in Caerphilly by kind permission of Canon John Kelly, supported by a wonderful CAFOD group. 

We are indebted to this amazing group of tireless volunteers who, for many years, have loyally supported our work. 

November is a time to come together and to reflect on the lasting impact our loved ones have had on the world.

We pray they find peace and that we can continue their legacy of love in their memory.

During the offertory procession, a Book of Remembrance was presented, which includes names of supporters who have sadly passed away during the year.

Many of our supporters are not away of some of our initiatives such as Candlelight Funds.  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.

You are very welcome to find out more about by giving in memory by clicking the following links; remembrance giving, or our Candelight Funds.

 

 

CAFOD’s Annual Review Summary (April 2017-March 2018)

If you have a spare moment, we invite you – our loyal volunteers and supporters, and any other interested parties who are visiting our blog – to take a look at our Annual Review which has been recently published.

You can see how the volunteering you commit to for us, transforms lives around the world.  Sometimes we hear people say, I am just putting up a poster or handing out Fast Day envelopes – it’s not much to ask.  With the greatest respect, we disagree!

The cover photo of the report (not the one above) shows: Fatema who is 18 at the Balukhali refugee camp in  Bangladesh.  Fatema had to flee Myanmar after her home was burnt down and her husband killed by the military. More than 600,000 Rohingya have been forced from their country, often with no possessions and with nowhere safe to travel to, in order to save their lives and those of their families. Countless more who were unable or unwilling to leave have been killed.

But thanks to your support, CAFOD, with our local Church partner Caritas Bangladesh, were able to respond to this crisis by providing emergency food, shelter and sanitation supplies to those in desperate need.

This report details how your contributions enable CAFOD to help millions of people like Fatema each year, and celebrates the transformational change your prayers, actions and donations help bring about.

We want to share just how valuable your contribution is to our work.  Thank you.

 

World Day of the Poor

In his message for the second World Day of the Poor, celebrated this Sunday, 18 November, Pope Francis asks  us all, whatever our means or background, to rediscover and celebrate in a spirit of joy our capacity for togetherness, for example by sharing a meal after Sunday Mass.

‘On this day, may all of us feel that we are in debt to the poor, because,  in hands outstretched to one another, a salvific encounter can take place to strengthen our faith, inspire our charity and enable our hope to advance securely on our path towards the Lord who is to come.’

We are called to examine our conscience to see if we can truly hear and respond to the cry of the poor in our world.  In our communities, we are invited to offer friendship, solidarity and welcome to the poorest of our sisters and brothers.

Why not watch and share Vladimir from Bolivia’s prayer video with your friends and family.   If you are sharing a meal, why not use this Grace for those who hunger.

It is my wish that Christian communities will make every effort to create moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance.”  Pope Francis

You can read Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of the Poor here. And there is a special Prayer Card for the day.  If you hold an event in your parish, please let us know and send us a photo too if possible.

Memorial Mass for Menevia

P1180203On Monday 12 November our Memorial Mass for the Menevia Diocese took place at St David’s Priory in Swansea. We are very grateful to Canon Michael Flook for celebrating such a beautiful Mass which was an opportunity to come together and remember all those who have died and who continue to touch our lives.

Huge thanks to our wonderful parish volunteers, Stuart, Sally and Mary who ensured that readers, music and refreshments were all organised. It was lovely to see parishioners and supporters from parishes across the Swansea deanery who joined us. Continue reading

10 year anniversary of the Climate Change Act – send a birthday card to your MP


 

Ten years ago, MPs came together to pass a ground-breaking law: the Climate Change Act.  The law was the first of its kind and showed that the UK was serious about tackling climate change.

However, ten years on, we know that we need to be going much further and faster with our emissions cuts if we are going to limit the word effects of climate change.

We need to set a net zero target before 2050, this means only producing the same amount of greenhouse gases that we take in.

A group of MPs have already come together to ask for this by signing a letter.  But if we are going to set a new target, we need more MPs to sign up.

Please click on the link here to sign a card to your MP and ask them to be a Zero Hero.
We will add your name, along with others in your constituency, and deliver it to them. Continue reading

Oscar Romero and CAFOD

Archbishop Oscar Romero gave his life, in the words of Pope John Paul II, “for the Church and the people of his beloved country” of El Salvador.

Until his assassination, Archbishop Oscar Romero (1917-1980) of San Salvador spoke out courageously in defence of human rights and social justice in strife-torn El Salvador.

Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez was born in Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador, on August 15, 1917. One of ten children. He was apprenticed to a local carpenter when he was 13 years old but he felt a vocation for the priesthood.  He left home the following year to enter the seminary and was ordained in 1942.

Romero spent the first twenty-five years of his ministry as a parish priest and diocesan secretary in San Miguel. In 1970 he became auxiliary bishop of San Salvador where he remained for four years until 1974 when the Vatican named him to the see of Santiago de María, a poor, rural diocese which included the town he grew up in.

In 1977 he returned to San Salvador to succeed Archbishop Luis Chávez y González, who had retired after almost 40 years in office.

Oscar Romero was living in a period of dramatic change in the Church in Latin America.

As Clare Dixon, Head of CAFOD in Latin America told us in the Cornerstone in Cardiff on Saturday 6 October, the region’s bishops, had met at Medellín in Colombia, in 1967 to discuss how to implement the recommendations of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), locally.

Canon Peter Collins and CAFOD supporters and J & P campaigners at The Cornerstone in Cardiff to hear Clare Dixon, CAFOD’s Head of Programme in Latin America for almost 40 years.

El Salvador was an extremely conservative society where a privileged few enjoyed enormous wealth at the expense of the very impoverished majority. Some younger priests recognized the injustice and imbalance of this situation and sided with the poor but the lone voice of encouragement in their efforts came from Archbishop Chávez y González.

During this period Oscar Romero was seen as a conservative and sometimes sceptical of both the Vatican II reforms and the Medellin pronouncements.

So when he was appointed Archbishop in 1977, he was not a popular choice with the politically active clergy, who saw his appointment as preserving the status quo in a safe pair of hands.

However, Romero emerged almost immediately as an outspoken opponent of injustice and fearless defender of the poor and suffering.

Romero himself said that he owed his change of attitude to his time as Bishop of Santiago de María, where he witnessed firsthand the suffering of El Salvador’s landless poor.

Continue reading

Hands on for Peace in Colombia

We are delighted to have Barbara Davies, our colleague in CAFOD who works as country representative for Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, will be giving a presentation on the peace process in Colombia at The Temple of Peace in Cardiff on Wednesday 24 October at 12 noon.

Barbara has been working on peace and development issues for over a decade across South America. Originally from Penarth, one of the first campaigns she worked on was to create a solidarity and awareness raising link between Wales and Colombia, highlighting the civil war that was taking place there and the amount of people displaced by the conflict.

Continue reading