Refresher training day for Schools Volunteers

Our first refresher training day for School volunteers is taking place on Thursday 30 January in the Mostyn Room, adjacent to St David’s Metropolitan Cathedral in Cardiff-.

This is a twice yearly opportunity for our team of school volunteers to come together to look at the new resources for Lent 2020 – both the assemblies and workshops that we offer to schools across the Archdiocese.

Our Education volunteer co-ordinator contacts schools each term to promote our school volunteers and invite them to take up our offer of an assembly or workshops.  We have an amazing range of resources for schools on offer.

The team does a wonderful job in raising awareness of our work.

We couldn’t make the same impact without the generous gift of their time, their enthusiasm and good humour.  Their commitment to CAFOD is inspiring!

This month we are getting ready for Lent 2020.  We’ll be focusing on the Amazon rainforest and the problems of deforestation and protecting human rights.   

We want to help pupils to understand how CAFOD is working with communities around the world to support people defending their rights. And for children to to see the relationship between taking action and supporting communities overseas.

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Memorial Mass at St Mary’s

Memorial Mass display

Our world can sometimes seem a very unjust place, where people with the loudest
voices get the most attention. But Jesus describes a world turned on its head. A world where suffering people, the meek and those who act with justice, mercy and courage are blessed.

St Mary of the Angels RC Church, Canton

Canon Peter Collins,who recently moved from St David’s Cathedral, to the beautiful parish of St Mary’s, Canon, kindly celebrated a beautiful Mass of Remembrance and Thanksgiving on Saturday 20 November.

Many thanks too, to Deacon Maurice Scanlon for his inspiring homily.

CAFOD’s Book of Remembrance containing all the names of supporters and volunteers who have died this year was placed next to the Archdiocese’s own Book of Remembrance which was on display for the month of November.

One of corporal works of mercy is to pray for the dead and CAFOD’s annual Memorial Mass remembers the many wonderful CAFOD supporters and volunteers from across the Archdiocese and around the country who have died.

Books of Remembrance – CAFOD and St Mary’s parish

Also remembered were all those who have a CAFOD candlelight fund in memory of a loved one and all those who have donated to CAFOD through their will.

If your parish would like to host the 2020 Memorial Mass for the Archdiocese, please get in touch with us: southwales@cafod.org.uk or call the volunteer centre in Cardiff on 02920 444 882 or Therese on 07823 445112.

Apologies for the late posting of this article.

Swansea church invites a change of heart

Jane, Sally & StuartSt David’s Priory RC Church in Swansea invited their parish community to a change of The shared table heart on Sunday 22 September at a special Mass to celebrate creation.

“And God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:25).  God’s gaze, at the beginning of the bible, rests lovingly on his creation.  From habitable land to life-giving waters, from fruit-bearing trees to animals that share our common home, everything is dear in the eyes of God, who offers creation to men and women as a precious gift to be preserved.”

Pope Francis on the World Day of Prayer for Creation   1 September 2019

The Creation Celebration Mass was introduced by two long-serving parish volunteers, Sally Meredith and Stuart Harper, ably supported by Mary, Geraldine, Maureen and Jane.

Barely a day goes by when the newspapers don’t have an article about climate change.  They highlight that the critical time is NOW!

The idea was to come together and engage in a conversation about climate change which is a concern for the whole parish community and to share ideas.

To prepare for the the event, parishioners were also invited to bring in any articles and photos that had made an impact on them and pin them to the display board in church. .

Planet; the creation given to us by our Father to nurture, not plunder.

Pope Francis invites us to a change of heart; individually, as a community and at international level, so we may truly respond to “both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. LS#49

A superb choir provided the music and lead the congregation with wonderful hymns including: “Here I am Lord” “We come to your feast” “Bread for the world” and “Christ be our light.”

The special the bidding prayers were said in four different languages: Hindi, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish as well as being translated back into English.

It was a very inclusive Mass.  And it was super to see so many young altar servers attending Canon Flook at Mass.

A shared table was organised for after Mass and parishioners and items to bring were carefully co-ordinated to avoid wastage.  There was a wonderful offering of food.

There was a marvellous response from the parish and Stuart Harper compered a climate quiz during lunch. Fabulous entertainment was provided by Keith & Co.

It was a wonderful occasion.  Thanks to a committed, knowledgeable and prayerful parish volunteer team, Canon Flook and enthusiastic fellow parishioners.

Find out more about CAFOD’s action on climate change here. 

Sign the petition to ask the government to stop funding fossil fuels overseas.

Download a prayer for the Care of Creation to use in your parish.

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

 

Harvest Fast Day meetings

With just six weeks to go until Harvest Fast day  (Friday 4 October) – we are holding planning meetings around the diocese.   These informal “briefings” are for all parish volunteers and interested supporters who want to find about more about what we can all do to change lives, working in partnership with CAFOD.  There will be information on the appeal, research on how your commitment to Speaking at Mass for CAFOD really makes a difference and feedback on how and where your generous donations at Lent have been used and the impact they are having.

Family Fast Day happens twice a year.  When Fast Day first took place, many families saw it as an opportunity to practice giving something up for the sake of others.

“Millions of people in the world are hungry and they are largely hungry because the good fruits of the earth are enjoyed by too few – and we are among the few. There is enough food for all – if only it could be fairly shared.”

(this is quoted from the very first leaflet in 1961)

Many people in England and Wales had known hardship and poverty themselves and had sympathy for those who were struggling to survive.  This recognition that we are all one global family is truly humbling and in those early days the message was quite clear.

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Six years on from Pope Francis’ visit to Lampedusa

Pope Francis offered a Mass ijn St Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Monday (8th July) commemorating his visit to Lampedusa six years ago, praying for all migrants who have either died or been abused along their route.
“On this sixth anniversary of the visit to Lampedusa, my thoughts go out to those ‘least ones’ who daily cry out to the Lord, asking to be freed from the evils that afflict them,” 
“These least ones are abandoned and cheated into dying in the desert; these least ones are tortured, abused and violated in detention camps; these least ones face the waves of an unforgiving sea; these least ones are left in reception camps too long for them to be called temporary,”

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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Lent 2018 feedback – how your donations are saving lives in Zimbabwe…

When we donate to an appeal – Lent, Harvest or an emergency – or make a regular gift – we all want to know and trust that our money will reach the people who need it most.

Here’s how your compassion and generous support for our Lent appeal in 2018 when you donated a fantastic £4.3 million, which was doubled by the UK government through matched funding, is working to save lives in Zimbabwe.

Fiona and her two children in Zimbabwe (above) will receive a vegetable garden.

Since last year’s Lenten appeal, our local nutrition experts have been working hard to reach the most vulnerable people – children, pregnant women, breastfeeding Mums and older members of the community – and ensure they’re getting a good meal.

So far we’ve reached a total of 4,293 people. And we’re on track to reach 239,000 people across Zimbabwe, Eritrea and Zambia by the end of 2021.

One year on from our 2018 appeal, we revisit some of the people you met last year in Zimbabwe.

A vegetable garden for the Mudzemeti family

When we met Fiona, she was worried about her youngest son Pardon, who was showing signs of malnutrition. But Fiona and her husband Peter have just received the good news that their village will be receiving a vegetable garden.

Read more about Fiona

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.