Catholics across the country invited to take part in Holy Island ‘virtual’ pilgrimage (1-11 July)

Caption: Pilgrims making their way to the Holy Island

Many pilgrimages have been cancelled due to lockdown, but that does not mean that you can’t take part in a virtual pilgrimage.

From 1-11 July, everyone is invited to take part in a virtual pilgrimage to the Holy Island, Lindisfarne, as part of CAFOD’s Summer of Hope.

Join the pilgrimage now

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Pentecost Prayer

God who cannot be bound…
Flow into our hearts and minds.
Wear down our resistance to your love
and refresh us with the spirit of your compassion.
Today, as we commit ourselves once more to your work
we ask you to show us how to hold the needs of your world at the heart of our lives and to celebrate your many gifts with joy.
May your power transform our lives.
May your Spirit set us free.
And may the blessing of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
be with us all now and forever.
(written by Linda Jones/CAFOD)
More prayers to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost

The Creativity of the Christian

Extract from an interview by Austen Ivereigh (The Tablet) with Pope Francis

“The creativity of the Christian needs to show forth in opening up new horizons, opening windows, opening transcendence towards God and towards people, and in creating new ways of being at home.

It’s not easy to be confined to your house.

What comes to my mind is a verse from the Aeneid in the midst of defeat: the counsel is not to give up, but save yourself for better times, for in those times remembering what has happened will help us.

Take care of yourselves for a future that will come. And remembering in that future what has happened will do you good.

Take care of the now, for the sake of tomorrow.

Always creatively, with a simple creativity, capable of inventing something new each day.

Inside the home that’s not hard to discover, but don’t run away, don’t take refuge in escapism, which in this time is of no use to you.”

Lord Jesus,

when you walked with us on earth

you spread your healing power.

We place in your loving care

all who are affected by Coronavirus.

Keep us strong in faith, hope and love.

Bring relief to our sick, console our bereaved,

protect those who care for us.

We lift our prayer to you Lord,

and trust in your infinite mercy,

as we wait for the  daybreak.


More prayers during the Coronavirus pandemic

Link to whole article

Prayer, chat and learning with CAFOD

Online talks and presentations

While we can’t meet face to face at the moment we would love to see you online.

We hold regular online talks (webinars) so you can hear more about the great work you support, all from your own living room!

Listen to past online talks 

Register for our virtual children’s liturgy

Prayer and chat

Tuesday, 7 April 11 am-12 pm

Come together with us in prayer and reflection, followed by a virtual coffee morning.

Please have a candle ready to light when you join the prayer.

Note: This session will be held on Zoom, you do not need to register just click the link below at the start of the session

Pray with us

Stories from Cyclone Idai – What happened next?

Wednesday, 15 April 1-2 pm

Join CAFOD’s Tiago Coucelo to hear how, with your support, local workers are helping some of the remotest rural communities to rebuild their shattered lives.

Register to join us live, or listen later.

We hope to be able to offer you more opportunities like this to connect with the lives of our sisters and brothers around the world while we spend more time at home.


Children’s liturgy for Palm Sunday

Children’s liturgy – Palm Sunday (Year A)

Preparing the worship space

Colour: red

Song suggestions: Give me joy in my heart (722, Laudate)

Welcome: Today we hear how crowds of people welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem shortly before he was crucified. We remember how the people cut branches and laid them in the road before him as they shouted with joy.

Opening prayer: God of joy, we welcome you into our lives as the people of Jerusalem welcomed Jesus, with respect, love and happiness. Help us to remember that you are in all people and to try to make them feel welcome. Amen.

Gospel: Matthew 21:1-11

[Note: On Palm Sunday there is usually a blessing of the palms and a procession at the start of Mass, as well as the reading of this first gospel. You could improvise your own procession at home.]

As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives. There Jesus sent two of the disciples on ahead with these instructions: “Go to the village there ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied up with her colt beside her. Untie them and bring them to me. And if anyone says anything, tell him, ‘The Master needs them’; and then he will let them go at once.”

This happened in order to make what the prophet had said come true:

“Tell the city of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you!
He is humble and rides on a donkey
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

So the disciples went and did what Jesus had told them to do: they brought the donkey and the colt, threw their cloaks over them, and Jesus got on. A large crowd of people spread their cloaks on the road while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds walking in front of Jesus and those walking behind began to shout, “Praise to David’s Son! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise be to God!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was thrown into an uproar. “Who is he?” the people asked.

“This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee,” the crowds answered.

(Gospel passage taken from Good News Translation® and used with permission, see details below*)

First reading (optional): Isaiah 50:4-7

Psalm (optional): Ps 21:8-9, 17-20, 23-24 r. 2

 Gospel Acclamation: everyone stands and sings the acclamation together. For Lent we use an acclamation that doesn’t use the word ‘Alleluia’.

 Gospel: Matthew 26:14 – 27:66 [Due to space restrictions we have not reproduced this reading of the Passion here. The reflection below focuses mainly on the first gospel reading.]

Gospel reflection: Today is a special day, called Palm Sunday. Today there are two gospel readings. The second gospel reading is called the Passion and tells the story of how Jesus was arrested, tried, crucified and buried.

What do you remember from the first gospel reading?

In the first gospel reading we heard how Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey. The donkey was a very humble animal – not very special for such an important person like Jesus. Why do you think he chose a donkey?

If Jesus were to arrive here today, do you think he would ride on a donkey? What would he ride or drive?

All of the people were so happy to see Jesus that they laid their cloaks on the floor and cut branches from palm trees to lay before him to show their respect. This is why today is called Palm Sunday. They shouted to show their joy and praise for God.

Why do you think the crowds were so full of happiness and praise for Jesus? What would you have done if you were in the crowd?

Think again about what it would be like if Jesus arrived here today. What would you do to welcome Jesus if he arrived here today?

God made all of us, no matter where in the world that we come from. Jesus is in all of us. So every time we meet someone and we welcome them, we are welcoming Jesus.

Jesus is in all people, so we should treat all people with the respect, love and kindness that we would show to Jesus. We should try to welcome all people into our lives and treat them as we would like to be treated.

Can you think of a time you welcomed someone else, into your home, your class, your game? What did you do?

Or have you ever been welcomed by others? What did they do to make you feel special and welcome?

At this time when we’re not meeting up with others, we can’t welcome them as we normally would. But let’s think about how we can still show our love for others and spread some joy, even when we can’t meet them in person.

What do you think we could do?

This week let’s try to treat all people as we would treat Jesus. Let’s do our best to show our love for others, share some hope and happiness and welcome each other in whatever way we can.

Intercessions: You may want to ask the children to offer their own prayers or you can use the suggestions below.

As we welcome Jesus into our lives, we pray together…

We pray for world leaders: that they may be inspired by Jesus’ example to care for all people, especially those who are poor and sick. Lord, in your mercy…

We pray for our brothers and sisters throughout the world: that we may look for Jesus within them and treat each other as we would wish to be treated. Lord, in your mercy

We pray for our parish, family and friends: that we may show our love for Jesus and share our joys, just like the crowd who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem. Lord, in your mercy…

Closing prayer: God of truth, we thank you for sending us your Son Jesus. Open our hearts so that we may see him in other people and do what we can to make the world a fairer place. Amen.

Activity suggestions

Share the accompanying activity sheet with the children. Ask them to colour the illustration and to add in speech bubbles of what they think the children are saying to welcome the newcomer. Encourage them to do the other activities on the sheet either now or at home later.

[This sheet was put together before the coronavirus pandemic. When considering how they can be welcoming to others, invite the children to think about what they could do once the current restrictions are over, as well as what they can do during this difficult time to still reach out to others in a safe way.]

Get the children to act out Jesus’ triumphant arrival (if they haven’t already processed at the beginning) or the Passion story.

Discuss as a family all that you have heard and thought about in the liturgy today. Encourage the children to look for Jesus in others this week and to treat all people as they would treat Jesus, no matter who they are or where they come from.

*Gospel passage taken from: Good News Translation® (Today’s English Version, Second Edition) © 1992 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.

Anglicisation © The British and Foreign Bible Society 1976, 1994, 2004. The copyright for the derivative work of Anglicisation pertains only to the text within the Good News Translation (GNT) that British and Foreign Bible Society adapted for British literary usage, consistent with Section 103(b) of the United States Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 103(b).

Bible text from the Good News Translation (GNT) is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by American Bible Society, 101 North Independence Mall East, FL 8, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (  ®

Cyclone Idai appeal – Diolch yn fawr iawn

CAFOD is a founding member of the DEC (The Disasters Emergency Committee).

The DEC brings 14 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis to provide and deliver aid.


The DEC responds to disasters in the world’s poorest countries,using a set of criteria to help it decide when to launch an appeal and how it can be most effective. 

The 14 member agencies are experts in humanitarian aid, delivering effective disaster response and swift humanitarian assistance to those that need it most. 

The decisions about how your donations are allocated to each member agency when a disaster strikes are taken in advance, based on each charity’s ability to deliver aid where it is needed.

The DEC makes certain that how it spends your money ensures that communities receive the urgent humanitarian aid required, as well as long term support to rebuild their lives after a disaster.

So we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you for your extremely generous support for the DEC Cyclone Idai appeal – in parishes and in schools.  It’s truly humbling.

As of 7 April the DEC and its member charities had raised over £29 million for people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi who have been affected by Cyclone Idai.

Thank you too to people in Wales who donated to DEC Cymru – raising over £850,000.

Sadly more than 1000 people have lost their lives and and almost 3 million people are affected.  And now Mozambique has confirmed 3,100 cases of cholera and six deaths. A huge vaccination programme is underway.

Listen to a live report from Gabriele Bertani CAFOD’s  country representative speaking from Maputo on the situation on the ground, our intervention and challenges affecting the lives of millions of people.

Just click on the link below to listen to the recording.

Direct webinar link to register is:

This will be a long-term aid effort to help families to start to rebuild their lives.

Please consider donating to CAFOD’s Cyclone Idai emergency appeal. 

Please continue to pray for all those affected by this disaster.

O Lord, be near to your people now,
as they face devastation and loss.
Stay close to those who are broken-hearted
and hold fast to those whose spirit is crushed.

Lead us and guide us for our hope rests in you.
Inspire us to reach out
and answer the cries of those in need.

So that those who mourn may be comforted,
those who are frightened find courage,
those who hunger and thirst may be satisfied
and those who are homeless find refuge.

O God, make haste,
hear the cry of your people,
help us, our shield, our strength and our rock.

We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.