Sarah’s Stars

Sarah O’Kane is a star volunteer for CAFOD in her wonderful parish, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Mumbles, Swansea and a school volunteer in her local schools.

Sarah volunteered with our dear friend Sue Philippart, who tragically died in March. But Sue continues to be her inspiration.  And now Sarah is crocheting Stars for CAFOD.

We all miss Sue dreadfully, but I think, well I know, that Sue would absolutely love and support Sarah’s efforts and commitment to build a Summer of Hope.

Sarah says she is passionate about CAFOD’s work because of its sustainability.

We work in partnership with our local experts, whether priest, midwife or water engineer. They understand what people need as they are part of the community.

At this difficult time, as you can imagine, CAFOD is working very hard to support ongoing essential projects as well as re-purposing grants in communities that are coping with the devastating effects of the Coronavirus.

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Five ways you can join in our Coronavirus appeal

There are many ways to get involved in our Coronavirus appeal and here we’ve listed a few ideas to get you started.

  1. Share on social media

We always share our latest updates and news on all our social media channels. Make sure that you are following our social media pages: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Click to follow us here: Twitter  Facebook  and Instagram Instagram (South Wales account) so you can be the first to hear about the latest developments in our projects and programmes and keep up-to-date with what is happening locally.

  1. Organise an event for our Summer of Hope

This summer, like never before, we are called to be signs of hope for our world.

And you can get involved by getting your friends, family and community together to virtually recreate a summer event, while fundraising for our Coronavirus appeal.

Could you get family on friends together online and come up with some quiz questions for fun, and donate or organise a virtual parish pilgrimage, getting sponsored for each mile walked?

Jane Davies from St Michael & All Angels parish at Belmont Abbey in Hereford recently took up this challenge and you can visit her fundraising page here: (21 mile sponsored walk). 

Check our A-Z fundraising guide for more ideas.

  1. Ask your friends to sign our petition for overseas debt cancellation

Through his Easter Urbi et Orbi message of hope, Pope Francis called for the whole world to be united in the face of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Urging us all to reject indifference, he called for the reduction, if not the forgiveness, of the debt that is “burdening the balance sheet of the poorest nations.

The spread of Coronavirus to countries with poor health systems will be devastating.  By cancelling debt payments, this money can be diverted to the health systems and infrastructure that is desperately needed.

At CAFOD we recently launched a petition asking the government to ensure that the most vulnerable and marginalised people are the priority in the UK’s international efforts as well as at home.

As Pope Francis reminds us, together we can speak out against a ‘globalisation of indifference’. We can use our voices to call for a fair and just political response

Make sure to sign and share our petition to help protect the world’s most vulnerable

  1. Get your parish or church group together for a virtual a Coronavirus prayer morning

We are so often told by the communities that we work alongside that prayers from communities in the UK are so powerful and meaningful to them.

Your prayers help to connect us as a global family and shows great solidarity and support.

So, why not get your parish group together for a prayer meeting and together reflect on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting our global brothers and sisters?

We have a selection of coronavirus prayers available for download

 

5. Donate the price of your coffee, haircut, or gym membership to the coronavirus appeal.

When lockdown meant that Jacquelyn and Alan Williams couldn’t frequent their local coffee shop, they decided to set up their own garden café and donate the price of their daily coffee to CAFOD’s coronavirus appeal.

Jacqueline said: “Before the lockdown, we never really thought anything about going a few times a week for a quick coffee and cake, but since we’ve been in lockdown, we realised how much we missed that experience. So, we decided to recreate it in our own garden – and it’s been a real treat! We wanted to do this to show everyone how easy it is to fundraise and help others.

It doesn’t have to be something big.

A small gesture really can make a big difference.”

Why not follow Jacqueline and Alan’s lead and donate the price of something you’ve saved to help families around the world?

 

Summer of Hope Assembly

The ‘Summer of Hope’ will be officially launched on 18 June with a nationwide assembly premiered on CAFOD’s YouTube channel to schools in England and Wales.

The assembly, titled ‘Hope in the Time of Coronavirus’ will inspire schools, communities, and young people to reflect on the impact of Coronavirus and act to be signs of hope for our global family.

Monica Conmee, CAFOD’s Head of Education, said:

“During the recent lockdown, communities across the UK came together to stand in solidarity to fight the coronavirus.

“Even though we had to be physically apart during this time, seeing extraordinary feats of generosity and kindness within communities helped to bring us together. Just because lock-down is lifting, there is no reason why we should lose that community spirit.”

“This summer, like never before, we are called to come together – albeit virtually – as a sign of hope and strength.

“The events that take place during the ‘Summer of Hope’ will not only provide a much-needed brightness in the local community but will also show that no family or community stands alone.”

Join the Summer of Hope at cafod.org.uk/SummerofHope

We say THANK YOU to all our amazing volunteers – Celebrate together this Volunteers’ Week with Mass at 6 pm today (Thursday 4 June)

This is National Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June)  – an annual celebration of the millions of people who give up their time to help their communities and country. And this year, there are more people to thank than ever before.

CAFOD’s Director, Christine Allen, said: “During the Coronavirus pandemic, we have seen some amazing feats of volunteering to support the Coronavirus response both here and overseas.

“Over the past few months, here at CAFOD we have seen our numbers of volunteers and the time they are willing to give increase – equating to over 100,000 extra hours volunteered to help some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.”

Jane Davies (from St Miichael & All Angels parish, Belmont Abbey is doing a sponsored walk to raise funds for the Coronavirus appeal – Thank you Jane!

Volunteering in numbers

  • Across the UK, 11.9 million people formally volunteered at least once a month in 2017/18.
  • An amazing 6,305 CAFOD volunteers in England and Wales across 15 volunteering roles gave an average of 27,862 hours each month.
  • That’s the equivalent of 334,344 hours over the course of a year – a record-breaking 100,000 more hours than last year!

Join us

Every year, we hold volunteer events around the country to thank our amazing volunteers – and although our events may look a bit different this year, we’d still love for you to join us to celebrate what an amazing difference your volunteering has made.

Please join us on this evening (Thursday 4 June) at 6 pm for our Volunteers’ Week celebration online Mass.

Register to join us

 

SUMMER OF HOPE

As we celebrate the fifth-year anniversary of Laudato Si’, now seems the perfect time to reflect on Pope Francis’ words from his ground-breaking encyclical.

His words, calling everyone to hear to ‘the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor’ seem particularly apt during this time of the Coronavirus pandemic, where we have seen communities come together in solidarity to tackle the virus.

And, in the scale of the global pandemic, we are often drawn to thinking that our individual actions can’t make a difference. Yet, Pope Francis reminds us that “all it takes is one good person to restore hope.”

So, this summer, we are calling you and your family to help restore hope in your local and our global community. We are calling on you to be the signs of hope for our world.

What can I do?

Getting involved is easy.

We are inviting everyone to get involved in the Summer of Hope by recreating at home the events you will miss this summer and transforming them into a sign of hope through raising money for CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal.

From sports days to summer fayres, we have a whole range of ideas you can reinvent at home in our A-Z of fundraising ideas.

You can hold your socially-distanced event with your family, school community or parish – and make sure to record your efforts on social media, tagging your photos and posts with @cafod #summerofhope.

Fundraising is easy through a JustGiving page and if you’d like any help, just drop us a phone call or email on [insert local details here]. You can also donate directly through the CAFOD website.

We can’t wait to see everything you get up to!

Dermot O’Leary backs CAFOD’s coronavirus appeal

Dermot O’Leary has added his backing to our Coronavirus Appeal for people living in some of the poorest countries in the world.

The TV and radio presenter said:

“Millions of people in developing countries face devastation from coronavirus and will be able to do nothing to stop it.

They need all the help they can get.

“That is why I am backing CAFOD’s fundraising appeal, so that people already living on the brink get some of the care and support we would want our own families to receive.”

“Please give whatever you can and help CAFOD’s local experts deliver food, provide clean water and train community leaders to help save lives.”

Donate now

What is my lockdown legacy?

Five years ago, Pope Francis wrote Laudato Si’ – a profound invitation to everyone on the planet to care for the earth, our common home. To mark its anniversary, Pope Francis invites us all to participate in Laudato Si’ week from 16-24 May.

During Laudato Si’ week, we at CAFOD are asking you to think about your hope for the world – to reflect and think about the world beyond lockdown.

To get involved, we are asking you to share what you want your lockdown legacy to be on social media using #LockdownLegacy and tagging @CAFOD.

Lots of people have already got involved.

Mrs Henderson from Manchester said: “My hope for the world is that we may never take the small things for granted because really they were the big things; the things that nourished our souls.”

While Councillor Sam Corcoran, Leader of Cheshire East Council, shared a message on twitter about his lockdown legacy around the environment and Laudato Si.

Listen to Councillor Sam Corcoran’s full message

We are really looking forward to hearing about your #lockdownledgacy

Bishop John Arnold hosts virtual mass for Laudato Si’ week

To mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical Laudato Si’, Bishop John Arnold of Salford is set to hold a special Mass and is inviting parishioners from across the country to join the online service.

Since churches were forced to close due to the lockdown, Priests across the country have leapt into action, organising online services so congregations can still celebrate together.

Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, has been no exception hosting regular masses live-streamed from Salford Cathedral with the latest being planned for Wednesday 20 May, 6-7 pm, to mark the five year anniversary of Pope Francis environmental letter, Laudato Si’.

The Laudato Si’ Week Eucharistic Celebration with Bishop John Arnold will take place on Wednesday, 20 May 6-7 pm, you can tune into watch here: https://www.churchservices.tv/salfordcathedral

 

A tribute to a highly-valued volunteer – RIP Sue Philippart

Susan Philippart

I am finding it difficult to find the right words to describe Sue Philippart – a parish volunteer, education volunteer, campaigner, school teacher and friend in the diocese of Menevia in Wales.

Some of you may know already, that Sue died in the early hours of Wednesday 25 March, following a serious fall – the very same day as her Mum’s (Gerry) funeral at Our Lady, Star of the Sea church in Mumbles, Swansea.

The very last message I had from Sue was on 4 March to let me know that her  “lovely Mum passed away suddenly but peacefully in her sleep on Sunday 23 February, so life has been in turmoil ever since. I know you totally understand as you’ve been through the same yourself.”

Sue at a CAFOD briefing in Swansea with her granddaughter

She went on to say that she was at Mass the week before Lent Fast Day with her father and sisters and a fellow parishioner, Sarah O’Kane

“did my Lent appeal beautifully. Sarah is a beautiful soul.”

Fundraising at Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Mumbles

Sue gave me details of her Mum’s funeral in her parish, Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Mumbles on Tuesday 9 March and that two priests Fr Michael and Fr Mansel Usher (her former parish priest) were con-celebrating the Requiem Mass.

And her last message to me was: “Donations in lieu of flowers are to go to CAFOD.  Would you mind putting my beautiful Mum, Gerardine Mary McNeff, in the Book of Remembrance please.  Lots of love and hugs, Sue xxx”

Tragically, Sue had suffered a fractured skull in the fall and was put into an induced coma in hospital in Cardiff. She had emergency surgery and a request for prayers went out to family, friends, colleagues, pupils, parishioners to pray for Sue to make a full recovery.  Sue was also remembered at our Mass in Romero House.

Sadly it was a few weeks later that  Fr Mansel broke the awful news that Sue had died peacefully in the early hours of the morning. He had been with her and her family.

“May she rest in peace. Amen.”

 

We can only do the work we do at CAFOD because of wonderful volunteers like you.  And Sue really was a volunteer in a million.

Sue Philippart, Gemma Salter, Fr Mansel Usher and Sarah O’Kane

She was beautiful, intelligent, fun-loving, prayerful, reflective, caring, compassionate, supportive – a do-er who put her faith into practical action.

She oozed infectious enthusiasm with her winning smile and can-do attitude.

Mrs Philippart with some pupils after a CAFOD assembly

She was a gifted primary school teacher who will be sorely missed by her colleagues and pupils at St Joseph’s Cathedral School in Swansea where she raised awareness and inspired prayer and action for a more just world.

Share the journey walk from St Joseph’s school to St Joseph’s Cathedral – with Canon Benedict Koledoye (Dean)

She championed CAFOD’s core values: compassion, hope, dignity, solidarity, partnership, sustainability and stewardship with daily acts of kindness and expressions of solidarity and hope.

Sarah O’Kane, Fr Mansel Usher and Sue Philippart

Not only in fundraising activities, but Share the Journey walks in solidarity with refugees and migrants in the Year of Mercy and campaigning with her parish and school children to write powerful messages to the World Bank; her class drew their own sun power pictures to highlight the need for renewable energy for the world’s poorest people so that they can access vital services such as schools and health clinics.

Fairtrade campaign outside Sainsbury’s in Swansea

A talented teacher, Sue was part of the Swansea-Siavonga partnership and visited Zambia with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms.

Sue with Sr Mary

It was a life-changing trip which also included a visit to a CAFOD project: the St Francis Intergrated Care programme in Zambia where she met Sr Mary Courtney – a religious sister of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa who was the programme co-ordinator. 

Sue was over the moon, and if it was possible to be more supportive of CAFOD, then she was.

Parishioners from OLSS with Geoff O’Donoghue and Fr Michael Apoghiran

CAFOD’s Operations Director, Geoff O’Donoghue, visited Our Lady, Star of the Sea parish and met with Sue and the wonderful group of committed and generous parishioners who support CAFOD’s work with prayer and fundraising. And he wrote to her after his trip to Mumbles to say:

“It was a great pleasure to meet Fr Michael, yourself and all the other supporters at Our Lady’s – it is very energizing to meet the levels of commitment and motivation that were so evident in your parish community and in the concern you have for others.”

Her fellow Education volunteer and good friend from OLSS, Sarah O’Kane sent us this:

“Sue was the CAFOD Parish Rep for Our Lady Star of the Sea in Mumbles and when I joined the Parish in October 2016 I asked if I could do anything to help her…well, as she used to say, the rest is history!

We became a good team, I was constantly inspired by her contagious enthusiasm for CAFOD  (due to which I also became, like Sue, a CAFOD School Volunteer.)

Sue cared deeply about justice, especially where children and education were concerned. She was always ready to go the extra mile, literally in fact, when Sue went to Zambia twice, on British Council exchange visits, she carved out time from an incredibly busy schedule to visit Sister Mary in a project supported by CAFOD. On her return home, Sue persuaded the Parish to earmark funds to continue to support Sister Mary’s Project.

We will all miss Sue’s huge smile, her warmth, her strong faith, her love of life and her wonderful enthusiasm.”

And a fellow Education volunteer in Menevia, Jane Stubbs, added:

I only knew Sue for a short time, but what an impression she made on me. I first met her on the train from Swansea to Cardiff for our CAFOD training. Sarah introduced me, and straight away it was like speaking to a long lost friend, her smile, warmth and enthusiasm for everything we talked about will always stay with me.  

It was a privilege to have known her.

And from Fr Mansel Usher:

During my time as parish priest of Our Lady Star of the Sea, Mumbles, Ms Sue Philippart, who has been a member of the parish all her life, became an invaluable supporter of a number of projects that were either already in existence or were new to the parish.

One of the projects already underway was the parish`s support for CAFOD. When I appealed for volunteers to help raise the profile of CAFOD`s activities both within the parish and within schools, Sue, along with Mrs Sarah O`Kane responded with tremendous enthusiasm.

The parish were already generous supporters of CAFOD but with the help of Sue and Sarah the level of support rose significantly. It was always a delight to work with Sue and Sarah. Any requests for help to promote events such as the Lenten Family Fast Appeals or the Harvest Appeals were always responded to with unconditional generosity.

Her “unconditional generosity” is something that I will sorely miss in our dear departed sister Sue. She is someone I knew I could totally depend upon, someone who would go out of her way to give everything to help support such a worthy cause which she totally believed in.

It is hard to believe Sue is no longer among us. In losing Sue I, like so many people, have lost a very dear friend, a beautiful person of deep, unwavering faith.”

Sue’s family have sent up a fundraising page in her memory with proceeds to CAFOD; she will live on in our work.  We are incredibly grateful to Sue’s father, Chris McNeff and to all her family for thinking of CAFOD at this awfully difficult time. She would be so proud of you all.

St Joseph’s Cathedral School, where Sue taught for many years, has produced a wonderful montage which we share here.

We will forever miss your radiant smile, your unfailing enthusiasm and your warm and loving friendship. Thank you Sue, from us all at CAFOD.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13)

Sue gave all of these in abundance. May she rest in eternal peace.

 

 

 

 

New home learning pages from CAFOD – primary, secondary with weekly themes…

CAFOD have put together new home learning pages with prayers, learning resources and extended project activities to support children, young people and families at this time, so we can continue to learn about and from, and pray with, our global family.

To find resources for primary children: https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Primary-teaching-resources/For-home-learning

To find resources for secondary students: https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Secondary-and-youth-resources/Home-learning-for-young-people

Every week there will be a weekly theme, with prayers, learning resources, extended creative project work or a weekly community challenge.

You can also view or register for the weekly live Children’s Liturgy (Sundays at 10am): https://cafod.org.uk/Education/Children-s-liturgy

Adults can also continue their Lent journey online with CAFOD: https://cafod.org.uk/News/UK-news/Continue-your-Lenten-journey

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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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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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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