Bishop Thomas Matthew Burns launches Share the Journey campaign in Menevia

Earlier this month, Bishop Thomas Matthew Burns of the Diocese of Menevia added his support to Pope Francis’ call for the need to build relationships between migrants, refugees and local communities.

Bishop Tom endorsed Share the Journey, the global campaign launched by the Holy Father in September last year, as he joined other world leaders and bishops in making the “Reach Out” gesture of welcome – which is at the heart of the campaign – stretching his arms out wide.

“Hope is what drives the hearts of those who depart… it is also what drives the hearts of those who welcome: the desire to meet each other, get to know each other, to dialogue.”  Pope Francis.

 

The Share the Journey campaign is being supported by more than 200 Catholic organisations around the world.  CAFOD and Caritas Social Action in England and Wales (CSAN) and Caritas sisters agencies in over 40 countries.

The campaign is calling on all governments, and us, as individuals, to play our part in welcoming and protecting people who are forced to flee their own homes because of persecution, poverty and emergencies.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ special concern for people on the move, we are asking the people of England and Wales to step up and make their voices heard as world leaders draw up ambitious new UN agreements (compacts) on migration and refugees in September and December of this year.    There are many resources available to support you, but one of the easiest ways to add your voice is by signing the online petition.

 “If we bond with refugees and migrants, we will break down the barriers with which some are trying to separate us. The campaign reaches out to recognise, restore and share our common humanity.”   Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis

To support the campaign we are attempting to walk 24,900 miles – the distance around the whole world.  We are hoping that many parishes across the Menevia diocese will get involved in this act of solidarity, to Share the Journey with our global neighbours fleeing their homes.

Bishop Thomas Matthew Burns with Fr Mansel Usher at The Mumbles

Every step you take, together with others from across the country, will send a message to world leaders that we want them to step up too; to act with courage and compassion.

To learn more about the Catholic church’s response to the refugee crisis, CAFOD has produced a useful factsheet.  And here are some frequently asked questions about the refugee crisis.

If you want to get involved, you can download a copy of the Share the Journey organiser’s guide to get all the information you need.   And there are free campaign (cards) which you can order or please get in touch with us and we can support you as much as possible.

One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves as individuals, communities and countries at this time of mass movements of people and global doubt is ‘Do I allow fear to prevail in my heart, or do I allow hope to reign?’

“Through ‘Share the Journey’ we hope to dispel fear and understand why so many people are leaving their homes at this time in history.  We also want to inspire communities to build relationships with refugees and migrants.  We want to shine a light and lead the way.  Migration is a very old story but our campaign aims to help communities see it with new eyes and an open heart.” Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila

You may want to know more about the position of the Catholic Church in England  and Wales on the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe?

I hope this helps: CAFOD’s mandate from the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is to support poor communities overseas.  CSAN (the Catholic Social Action Network) is the social action arm of the Catholic Church for work in England and Wales.  Their members support refugees who have already arrived in the UK, and they do advocacy work on poverty in the UK.  Together CAFOD and CSAN form Caritas England and Wales.

Both organisations support the Share the Journey campaign.

 

Share The Journey in Herefordshire

Representatives of the Herefordshire deanery parishes including Fr Matthew and Fr Simon

The Herefordshire deanery of parishes attended a presentation on Share the Journey, followed by Mass at Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs in Hereford on Tuesday, 8 May.

Our thanks to the Dean, Fr Matthew Carney for his kind hospitality and welcome.

Share the Journey is a global campaign launched by Pope Francis in Autumn 2017. The Holy Father is hoping that each and every one of us will step up and show our support for refugees and migrants.

The meeting was called to give more background to the campaign and what it is calling for and to ask our supporters and their fellow parishioners to get together to organise a walk in their individual parish – to show solidarity with our neighbours who are fleeing their homes.

Every step we each take, together in our parishes, with our fellow townspeople, with other faith groups, will send a message to world leaders that we want them to step up too.

The aim is to walk 24,900 miles around the world – it isn’t as difficult as you might imagine… you don’t have to attempt the strenuous Pen y Fan and Corn Du circular walk or the Black Hill (Crib y Garth) in the Black Mountains in Herefordshire… you can just walk inside your church, around the pews, slowly, in pairs – holding the CAFOD action card in your hand, to guide your conversation.

You might walk around the church a couple of times – you might achieve half a mile each, but with a group of people, all walking together, the miles will soon add up…

The action cards include a story, prayers and questions for reflection; a message to send to the Prime Minister, Theresa May, calling for global agreements which put the human dignity of people on the move at their heart.

You can download a Share the Journey Organiser’s guide and if you order any of the petition cards, you will be sent a copy of the organiser’s guide automatically.

There is an informative Share the Journey factsheet with all the information you need at your fingertips to get started and which you can share with your fellow parishioners.

There is a short talk available, if you are able to say a few words after Mass about the campaign and a generic poster which you can also use to spread the message to as wide an audience as possible.

If you are thinking of inviting your MP, then why not take a look at this template for ideas which you can then personalise.

Some of our supporters who write to their MPs 3 or 4 times a year – before a reception at Parliament – talking about Share the Journey with their MP

If you would like us to come along to your parish to give a short presentation on the campaign, we would be delighted to support you.

Lastly, if your parish is getting involved – please, please let us know when and where!

We are here to help publicise your good work and we want to do that as effectively as possible.

You might like to think about holding a walk or card signing during Refugee Week which is from 16-24 June.  Some frequently asked questions can be found here.

Here is the link to our Facebook page and please follow us on Twitter too.

There is a Share the Journey online petition here which you can sign. Please encourage others to do the same.  Thank you.

Here’s the Health and Safety guide for your walk.

If you can’t get together with others to organise a walk, please can we encourage you to organise a petition card signing event after Mass.

Don’t forget to send us any photos you take, and if you have enough time, a few details about what motivated you to get involved and raise your voice in solidarity?

 

 

Remembering in November

Harvest Fast Day – focus on El Salvador

This Harvest Fast Day we draw inspiration from the Oscar Romero prayer which will be in all the Fast Day packs.

If your parish is holding a Harvest Fast Day collection, the pack will be with all parish priest and parish volunteers in the first week of September.

Continue reading

Making our voices heard

Fr Nicholas James with members of the liveSimply group, Lynne, Lis, Elizabeth, Kim and Lynne

The July liveSimply meeting at St Mary’s RC Church in Monmouth saw members kick off their parish involvement with CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign. 

Parish priest, Fr Nick James, lead from the front, being the first person to sign a card. 

The campaign card itself is being sent to Melanie Robinson, UK Executive director at the World Bank petitioning her to stay true to the UK’s commitment to tackling poverty and climate change by supporting access to renewable, safe, reliable and affordable energy for the poorest communities. 

Continue reading

CAFOD in the summer term in schools

David Brinn (trainer) Sue, Chris, John (Cardiff volunteers) and  Jane, Sue and Sarah (Menevia volunteers)

Our team of education volunteers across Cardiff and Menevia had a joint day of working on Monday 15 May when they met together in the Cardiff volunteer centre.

The purpose of the refresher training was to bring together all our wonderful volunteers – experienced and newly-recruited, to explore the resources which we are using in schools during the Summer term and beyond.

Continue reading

Getting the lowdown on Zambia for Lent

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Supporters from some of the Swansea parishes – thank to Canon Flook and St David’s Priory for hosting

Thank you to everyone who attended the Lent Fast Day briefings around the Archdiocese, following the visit by Sr Yvonne.

We have one briefing still outstanding – in Burry Port on Wednesday 16 March at 6 pm.

We are so grateful for your support and it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to share the story behind the Lent appeal more widely.

Florence lost her husband ten years ago in a mining accident.  Despite being a very hardworking mother who is devoted to her family, she struggled to put enough food on the table for her family or to send her younger children to school.

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Supporters from every parish in the Hereford Deanery – special thanks to Fr Matthew Carney at Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs in Hereford

The Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who have been working in her community for over 20 years, recognised how determined Florence was to stand on her own two feet, so they gave her 500 tiny fish as well as the tools and the training to build a pond to farm them.

By selling some of the fish at market, Florence was able to send her children to school – to give them a future.  And Florence is already giving back, sharing what she has with the most vulnerable in her community.

We hope that you have all found the talks, online webinar, briefings or cup of tea meetings useful – we certainly have and it has been lovely to touch base with our wonderful parish volunteers.

If you weren’t able to look join us for the online webinar – all is not lost – you can access it a shorter version here on YouTube.

We showed this powerpoint presentation in the briefings.

And there is a very useful background information sheet on Zambia too.

Other resources you might find useful are a children’s liturgy illustration and a suggested children’s liturgy sheet.

Lent Fast day is this Friday 10 March when we come together to make sacrifices such as eating a simple lunch or supper.

Your sacrifice and donation will support other families like Florence’s so that they too can change their lives.  Just £4 will buy 100 tiny tilapia fish.  £20 will proved the material to build a pond.

Finally, why is so important to consider Gift Aid?  When you donate to CAFOD and fill in the Gift Aid form, you can increase the value of your gift by 25p for every £1 you give – at no extra cost to you. This extra 25 per cent makes a big difference and means that we are able to support our partners with additional funding.   See our Gift Aid video to find out more and to check if you are eligible to Gift Aid your donation.

Last year alone, we raised over £2.6 million through Gift Aid donations.  That extra income has transformed so many lives.  Thank you.

Speaking up for CAFOD and 12,000 feet up in the Andes

Bernadette, Sue (Mumbles) Paul &  Stella (Pontyberem) and Sandra (Neath) with a Lampedusa Cross at the Swansea briefing (Mary from St David's is missing from the photo)

Two parishes in Menevia – St David’s Priory Church in Swansea and Our Lady, Queen of Peace in Llanelli hosted Fast Day briefings for some of our dedicated volunteers earlier this month.

This year the country of focus for Harvest is Bolivia.

It’s a landlocked country in central South America and one third of the country is the Andean mountain range.

It’s the poorest country in South America.

The Altiplano is a vast, inhospitable plain almost 4,000 metres above sea level.

The soil is poor quality because the area is incredibly arid.  The climate is changing and becoming increasingly unpredictable. Continue reading

Schools volunteers needed!

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Can you inspire young people?

Can you inspire young people?

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are looking to recruit a number of new volunteers in join our Education team working in schools across the Archdiocese of Cardiff and the diocese of Menevia. Continue reading

Lampedusa Cross travels to Powys

Fr Michael with parishioners at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Knighton & Our Lady of the Assumption & St Therese Presteigne

Fr Michael with parishioners from Our Lady of Perpetual Succour & St Nicholas, Knighton and Assumption of Our Lady & St Therese, Presteigne and St Francis of Assisi, Rhayader and other Christian denominations in Knighton

The beginning of August saw the Lampedusa Cross continue its journey across the parishes of Menevia, travelling through the beautiful Herefordshire and Powys countryside to arrive at the lovely market town of Knighton and the church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and St Nicholas.

The church is served from Rhayader (St Francis of Assisi) by Fr Michael Akpoghiran who also ministers to the church in Presteigne (Assumption of Our Lady and St Therese). Continue reading