Romero Festival in South Wales (9-15 March)

Today brought wonderful news from the Vatican: Pope Francis has recognized a second miracle from Blessed Oscar Romero which puts him on the path to canonization.

He was beatified by Pope Francis in May 2015.

Romero was Archbishop of San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. He was assassinated on 24 March 1980 as he was celebrating Mass.

At the time, El Salvador was in the grip of a cruel civil war between guerrilla forces on the left and a dictatorial government on the right.

When he was appointed, Oscar Romero was seen as a “safe” pair of hands but during his three short years as Archbishop, and seeing the oppression and violence at first hand, he became an outspoken critic of the injustice he was witnessing all around him. Continue reading

It’s Fairtrade Fortnight! Meet Fr John Joseph at St Helen’s, Caerphilly on Sunday 11 March

We are in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight!  (26 February – 11 March)
So what exactly is Fairtrade?
Well it’s about choosing products that change lives.
Their mission statement is:
We want a world in which justice & sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential.
To achieve this vision, Fairtrade seeks to transform trading structures and practices in favour of the poor and disadvantaged.
It’s still a shocking fact that millions of farmers and workers who produce the food we love, still don’t earn enough money to feed their own families.
Fairtrade Fortnight shines a spotlight on trade.
When we reach for our favourite food and drink every day without ever thinking where it comes from, we become part of the problem.  We may be feeding exploitation.
When you choose Fairtrade you are helping to make sure that the person who grew the banana you are eating or the coffee beans used to make your favourite cuppa, was paid fairly for their work.
There are over 1.65 million farmers and workers across more than 74 countries participating in Fairtrade.  Find out more about them here.
Watch the short film about Pablo, the Super Banana… it’s designed for young primary school children – but I learned a lot about Fairtrade too!
Watch the film Make Bananas Fair to discover more about Foncho, a banana farmer from Colombia and see how Fairtrade makes a real difference to the lives of Foncho, his family and their community.
It’s only 3 minutes long!  “Make Bananas Fair”
So why does CAFOD support Fairtrade?
Because CAFOD founded the Fairtrade Foundation in 1992 with Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft, the World Development Movement and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.

We believe we are all part of the global food system – which means we have the power to change it.

Changing the food we buy and choosing products from Fairtrade companies is one of the ways we can help tackle poverty.  Learn more about CAFOD and Fairtrade.

Why not consider asking your parish to become a Fairtrade parish? 

And let’s not forget that Cardiff is the first Fairtrade capital city in the world!

With over 1500 Fairtrade towns and cities across the world, Cardiffians should be proud of this title which demonstrates that you’re capable of green, ethical living with fair outcomes for all.

If you are holding a coffee morning, Fairtrade stall or event, we’d love to hear from you.  Please send us a couple of sentences about your event and a photo, if you can, and we can tweet or add our support on Facebook.

Fairtrade Wales has organised a visit of their partner, Fr John Joseph on Sunday, 11 March at St Helen’s, Caerphilly. He will be at the 10.30 am. Mass.

Fr John Joseph is Chairman of the WOFFA Co-operative in India and is touring wales between 4-11 March.

Fr John founded WOFFA in 2008 with 400 small-scale farmers in the rural Wayanad region of Kerala, India, known for its panoramic views and the diversity of indigenous tribal communities.

The association arose out of the need to organise, gain knowledge and tackle social, economic and environmental challenges facing farming families.

Under his leadership, WOFFA has grown to almost 8,000 registered members – all certified Fairtrade and organic farmers – who are organised under 450 village groups. It is now the biggest organic and Fairtrade producer organisation in India.

 

Volunteers meet International Partners

Volunteers and staff with some of the country representatives

Volunteers from around the South West region which, in CAFOD terms, includes the Archdiocese of Cardiff and the diocese of Menevia, travelled to St Bonaventure’s parish in Bristol to meet country representatives who are working in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ethiopia.

Continue reading

Magnficent Mumbles response to Lent and East Africa Crisis appeals

Give, Fast, Pray

Giving alms, Jesus teaches us, means making the needs of others our own.  In his message for Lent, Pope Francis said that:

 “Lent is a favourable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognising in them the face of Christ. Each of us meets people like this every day.”

Joy Stafford, Tess O’Donahue, Anne Lane, Sue Philippart, Sarah O’Kane and Diane Davies

For CAFOD’s Lenten appeal, the parish of Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Mumbles hosted a tasty soup and bread lunch which was provided by the ladies of the parish.

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Meet Sister Yvonne

sryvCome and meet our overseas partner who is living out Pope Francis’ call to hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. Sr Yvonne, who works in Zambia, will be sharing the inspiring story of her work on livelihoods and how she is supporting some of the most vulnerable communities to adapt to climate change. Continue reading