Retired South Wales Teacher Receives Blessing From Pope for 25 Years of Volunteering

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On Sunday 6th October, Sandra Davies was awarded a Papal Blessing in recognition of her dedicated volunteering and commitment to CAFOD.

Sandra Davies presented with an unexpected Papal Blessing

A former Port Talbot teacher, Sandra Davies, has been presented with an award from Pope Francis for her 25 years of volunteering and helping to educate others on development issues. To the surprise and delight of the congregation, Fr Neil Evans presented the award on behalf of Pope Francis at the end of Sunday Mass on Sunday 6th October at St Joseph’s Church in Neath.

The church was beautifully decorated for Harvest and over 70 parishioners, keen to support Sandra and all she has done, attended Mass, which was beautifully led by pupils from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Neath. There was joyous singing, thanksgiving hymns, contributions for the local food bank and a superb celebration cake made by a fellow parishioner, Desiree Nicholas.

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Thanking Sandra’s meaningful and life-saving work

After Mass, Sandra shared her experience of volunteering with us and thanked everyone who attended. She was described by our South Wales representative, Therese Warwick, as “a very modest and self-effacing person with a heart of gold who has quietly got on with supporting Fr Neil Evans”. We are incredibly grateful for her unwavering support over the years.

“Sandra has a long history of working to educate children and young people about issues that affect global communities – and has helped people in the local community to better understand the issues that are facing some of the poorest communities around the world.”

From everyone at CAFOD, we want to say a massive congratulations to Sandra for her Papal Blessing- it is truly well-deserved.

We wouldn’t be able to continue our work around the world without admirable volunteers like Sandra. She has done everything from speaking at school to fundraising, taking part in charity events and campaigning, and it was wonderful to see everyone support her on this special day.

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How can you get involved?

We have over 5,000 volunteers across England and Wales who help to educate, campaign and raise their voice on issues affecting some of the poorest communities in the world. Whether you have been with us for years or you’re just starting your journey, get involved by visiting cafod.org.uk/volunteering or email southwales@cafod.org.uk.

WANTED! SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS IN CARDIFF

Rewarding and fully supported volunteering opportunities available.  Full training provided.

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This Thursday (19 September) brings together our team of Education volunteers at the Mostyn Room, adjacent to the Metropolitan Cathedral of St David right in the centre of Cardiff. (11 am to 3 pm).

We are looking to add to our small team of School Volunteers in the Archdiocese of Cardiff.  So…

Are you a parent with some free days during the week in school term time? Perhaps you have delivered Children’s Liturgy sessions and would like to support young people learn more about CAFOD in a school setting?  Are you a retired teacher or grandparent still keen to share your experience and passion?

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LOVE IS CIVIC & POLITICAL: Our Faith and the Common Good

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You are warmly invited to join us for a CAFOD Faith in Action day.

Previously known as retreats, the Faith in Action days are free and open to all; whether you are new to campaigning, want to learn more about campaigning or you joined us a long time ago, you are very welcome. 

From Trump to Brexit to climate, politics is everywhere. But when should we pray from the side-lines and when should we roll up our sleeves?

The Church here and around the world has a proud history of encouraging Catholics’ political reflection and action. With amazing results.

At this CAFOD day, we’ll explore the links between faith and politics.

Join us and reflect on Scripture and Church teaching.

Sign up on Eventbrite today.

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DEPUTY HEAD OF AFRICA TO SPEAK AT ALL SAINTS NEWPORT

You are warmly invited to St Mary’s Stow Hill (All Saints Pastoral Area) – St Mary’s Institute (parish hall), Stow Hill, Newport (NP20 1TP) on Saturday 21 September at 3.30 pm to meet Damian Marchant – deputy Head of Region for Africa at CAFOD – who will give an update on CAFOD’s work around the world.

James joined CAFOD in 2007 and served overseas for seven years in Latin America and three years in Africa. He will give us a snapshot of the complexity of operating in some extremely insecure environments.

CAFOD has worked in sub-Saharan Africa since the 1970s and James currently holds operation responsibility for CAFOD’s overseas programmes in Kenya, Uganda, Niger, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and eSwatini (Swaziland).

James will also cover how CAFOD works hand in hand with the church and how knowledge of the local context allows CAFOD to work with communities in a way that is so inspiring.

Come and hear how your support for CAFOD contributes to positive change in the lives of so many communities.

Free event with tea & coffee available.  Feel free to bring a friend or fellow parishioner.  You will all be welcome.

Mass follows at 4.30 p.m.

Further information from CAFOD South Wales on 02920 344 822 or email: southwales@cafod.org.uk

 

CAFOD AND WORKING WITH OUR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

You are very welcome to join us on Thursday 19 September 2019 for our termly Education refresher training update which will be held in the Mostyn Room, adjacent to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint David in Cardiff (right next door to M & S).

If you think would like to join our team of volunteers working in the Archdiocese of Cardiff, then get in touch

We’d love to have a chat and invite you in to the volunteer centre in the heart of Cardiff to tell you all about what’s involved.  It’s as little or as much as you want to commit.

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CREATION CELEBRATION MASS AT ST HELEN’S CAERPHILLY – Monday 2 September at 12 noon

All are invited to come to a Creation Celebration Mass at St Helen’s RC Church, Caerphilly on Monday 2 September at 12 noon.

Mass will be outside on the lawn (weather permitting) or in the hall.

Mass will be followed by a bring-and-share picnic.

Join us to give special thanks for the gift of creation
and to pray for our common home.

Let us know you are attending by registering your interest for this free event at Eventbrite.

God has entrusted the care of Creation to us.

Pope Francis, in Laudato Si‘ describes how our beautiful planet has been despoiled and exploited for profit. We all need to value Creation.

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First Creation Celebration Mass in Menevia

On Saturday 25 July Our Lady, Star of the Sea parish in Burry Port hosted a Creation Mass at their 6.30 evening service.  The celebrant was the parish priest Fr Martin Donnelly.  The church was transformed into the Garden of Eden by Fr Martin to reflect the beauty and wonder of creation. This included the altar being festooned with animals and clouds, the sun, the moon and stars provided by the local school being hung nearby.

As parishioners and invited guests arrived for the Saturday Vigil they witnessed the transformation and listened to bird song until Mass began.

Fr Martin explained the importance holding a special Creation Celebration Mass and remembering how God had entrusted the care of Creation to us.  He also stressed the importance of listening to Pope Francis; in Laudato Si‘ the Holy Father has described how our beautiful planet has been despoiled and exploited for profit. We all need to value Creation.

“Creation is the order of love.  God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things.”  Laudato Si #77

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Creation Celebration Mass at Burry Port

 

Our Lady, Star of the Sea parish in Burry Port is holding the first Creation Celebration Mass in the Archdiocese on Saturday 25 May at 6.30 pm. Followed by tea & coffee and conversation about climate change.  Parishioners from any parish are cordially invited to attend.

What is a Creation Celebration?  It’s just one element of CAFOD’s new climate campaign: “Our Common Home.”

As Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si (#14)’:

“We need a conversation which includes
everyone, since the environmental
challenge we are undergoing, and its
human roots, concern and affect us all.”

To avoid the worst effects of climate change, we must limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Going above 1.5°C warming could multiply hunger, migration and conflict.

To avoid this, we need the UK to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2045. This will mean Britain no longer contributes to climate change.

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Planning for Lent

With Lent starting next week, Ash Wednesday is 6 March, we’d like to invite volunteers in and around Cardiff to pop into our volunteer centre (North Chambers, Castle Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1BX) on Thursday 7 March between 11 am-12.30pm to hear more about this year’s Family Fast Day appeal.

Throughout Lent we will be sharing the experience of Mahinur who is struggling with the changing weather.  Mahinur lives in Bangladesh.  She makes a living from fishing but a drought last year killed all the fish in the river that she lives next to and now she’s struggling to support her disabled husband, Khalek and her twelve year old son, Rabiul.

The changing weather is devastating lives.  Drought, floods and storms are having a catastrophic impact effect on some of the poorest members of our global family.

Hardest hit are vulnerable groups such as women and people with disabilities.  Both groups often live in extreme poverty and are excluded from job opportunities.  People with disabilities also face stigma.  The lack of support and income makes it harder for vulnerable people to prepare for disasters and to recover after disaster strikes.

The most vulnerable and disaster-prone regions within Bangladesh are the south and south-west coastal areas.  Mahinur is from the Patuakhali District on the wouthern coast.

Last year, your donations were match funded by the UK government and the projects started in October 2018.

“New nutrition projects in Zimbabwe, Eritrea and Zambia have  begun.  We’re on track to reach 239,000 people by the end of 2021!”   Thank you!

This Lent your donations will help ensure that no-one is beyond the reach of the love and care they need to flourish.

Jamal, our local expert, grew up in the same region as Mahinur and is an expert in farming and fishing.  He has already helped a few families her village, teaching them new farming techniques and distributing seeds, ducks and chickens.  But sadly there hasn’t been enough money available yet to help Mahinur.  And it’s a very sad fact that  we are currently forced to turn away one in three requests for help, simply because there isn’t enough money to go around.

On Friday 15 March, can you eat a simple meal in solidarity and give what you save to help us reach out to more families in desperate need of help?

Your generosity is a lifeline for women, men and children all over the world.  Thank you so much!

5 ways you can get involved:

  1. In your parish. Pin up our eye-catching poster and use our short talk to introduce the parish to Mahimur. If you would like to have someone speak at Mass, please contact us.  Get the children involved too by using our children’s liturgy and illustration for the first Sunday of Lent.
  2. Have a pancake party! Flip poverty on its head this Shrove Tuesday by challenging friends and family to pancake flipping competition. How many can you flip in 2 minutes? If everyone donates £2 to take part, your pancakes will make a big difference to families with nothing to eat.
  3. Pledge to eat soup this Family Fast Day! Have a simple soup meal and give what you save. Even better, gather a crowd and organise a soup-er fundraiser. We’ll send you a poster, guide and recipes… yummy.   Here’s a recipe for a simple lentil soup.
  4. Prayer can move mountains. Our prayers of intercession can be used at church, with your prayer group, your family or on your own in quiet reflection. You can also order our prayer card from the CAFOD shop.
  5. Share our video of Mahinur on Facebook and social media. Together we can spread the message of love our global neighbours to thousands of people across England and Wales.

If you can’t make this meeting, but you want to pop into the office to know more, please  get in touch with us on 02920 344882 or email us.