Pray as one global family

During Laudato Si’ Week, tens of thousands of people have united to learn and prepare for a better tomorrow. Thank you for participating!

But Sunday is our day to slow down.

At noon local time, wherever we are and whatever we’re doing, we’re going to stop and pray as one global Catholic family all over the world.

A wave of prayer for creation will start as the sun reaches its peak in the Pacific, then roll on through Africa and Europe before reaching the Americas.

The global day of prayer will envelope the entire world. That’s the power of this prayerful movement. We face a crisis in love and solidarity because we know that truly, “everything is connected.” Click here to view and download Sunday’s prayer card.

You’re encouraged to connect with others about your time of prayer by using #LaudatoSi5 on social media. You’re also warmly welcomed to join a special online Laudato Si’ Mass to celebrate the day of prayer. Please join us to share this gift of the Spirit.

 Date: Sunday 24 May – 2 pm local (UK) time.

Join here: Register on Zoom here

 Fill your home with God’s love: Pray with us.

P.S. Download Sunday’s prayer card here to join a global wave of prayer, and connect with others by sharing #LaudatoSi5 on social media!

Laudato Si’ week – 16-24 May – 5 years on!

Five years ago, Pope Francis realised his landmark encyclical, Laudato Si’ – and to mark this special anniversary, Catholics from around the world are uniting for Laudato Si’ Week, 16-24 May.

Join CAFOD’s online events


Linda Jones, CAFOD’s Head of Theology, said:

“I can still remember how excited I was five years ago when I first read Laudato Si’. It was full of ideas and written in a style that was easy to understand. Pope Francis challenges us, then and now, to think differently about progress, and to renew our commitment to bring about positive change for our neighbours and for the earth – our common home.

“He reminds us of how interconnected we all are – and how important it is to become more attentive to our relationships with God, each other and the earth. What kind of world do we want to leave behind for our children, and for all future generations?

“This call to care for our common home was a great challenge: to change not only our minds but also our hearts – a true ecological conversion.’’

During this special week, CAFOD is holing a range of online events, beginning with a volunteer prayer and chat.

Taking place 11 am-12 pm on Tuesday 19 May, we will be holding an online meeting for volunteers from across the country to come together to mark the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si‘.

The session will include a Bible reading, time to reflect and share, and group prayer.

Make sure to sign up to attend


Get your thinking caps on and join CAFOD’s VE day quiz – this Friday at 6.30 pm

Join our very first online CAFOD quiz this Friday to bring our communities from across the country together for some light-hearted fun at this difficult time.

The VE DAY QUIZ is this Friday 8 May from 6.30 pm – 8pm and we are suggesting a donation of £5 per adult, which you can donate through our website. This will go towards our new Coronavirus appeal.

So we’ll be supporting those most in need around the world as we celebrate VE day this Bank Holiday (Friday).  It’s a chance to reflect and be thankful for our freedom.

You can register here and make sure you tell your friends and family too!

VE Day – or ‘Victory in Europe Day’ – marked the day towards the end of World War Two when fighting against Nazi Germany in Europe came to an end.

On 7 May 1945, Germany surrendered and the following day, the 8th May, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, Winston Churchill gave a radio broadcast to the nation to announce that war in Europe was over.

It was a hugely emotional day that many, many people had been longing and praying for. Understandably people were over the moon that fighting had stopped and people celebrated in the streets with parties.

In London, huge crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace – many were wearing patriotic red, white and blue.

At the time, the Queen was a young woman and she described it as: “one of the most memorable nights of my life”.

Many people went to church to thank God. But millions of people had already lost family members in the war. So there were joyful celebrations yes but enormous sadness too as war was still waging in other parts of the world – the Second World War was not over yet. .

Winston Churchill said: “We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing, but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead.”

So in the midst of the present global pandemic – a health and an economic crisis – affecting all of us – we thought we could allow ourselves a brief period of escapism too – so it’s the CAFOD VE Day Quiz for us!

So please bring your family and join in on Friday evening – 8th May at 6.30- 8.00 pm. Don’t forget your £5 donation will go straight to our Coronavirus Appeal.

Lots of general knowledge to test our little grey cells.  Most of all it’s a fun distraction and we’ll be supporting vital work for our global family at the same time.
We look forward to seeing you all.  Don’t forget to register beforehand! 

Ir you feel your compering skills need airing, why not organise your own quiz….

You can choose one of our quiz sets and use our quiz night toolkit to help organise your quiz.

If you’re holding a quiz for under 18s, use the CAFOD youth quiz resources.

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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.





A reminder to join us for Mass today at 6 pm

Fr Liam celebrating Mass

Fr Liam Hayes will be celebrating Mass again today for all CAFOD volunteers, supporters and friends.  Please join us at 6 pm.

Follow the link to register:

Don’t forget that our Children’s Liturgy is live on Sunday morning at 10 am – it’s a lovely, joyful celebration.

All welcome – but please follow the link to register, for security reasons:

Finally,.you can sign up to watch some interesting recordings from our partners, staff and learn more about our work around the world.

Sign up here:

Maria Gonzalez – Head of International Development at CAFOD

Keeping you all in our prayers.

If you’d like to get in touch for a chat, please do feel free to email us or call me on 07823 445112 (working from home mobile number) or my landline 01989 768708.

Prayers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

A month into lockdown – thank you for your amazing support!

Despite being nearly a month into lockdown, we are still being blown away by the generosity and support being shown from communities across the UK.

This week, CAFOD’s education team member David Brinn’s son Aidan was recognised in the Daily Mirror’s Community Corner for his act of kindness – delivering eggs to those in need. Well done Aidan!

If you have any heart-warming stories from your community, please make sure to share them with us and join our facebook group so you can keep connected with volunteers around the country.

2.6 challenges – a big thank you! 

Molly Carter completing a fundraising run in London

Despite the coronavirus pandemic causing thousands of fundraising events, including last Sunday’s London Marathon, to be cancelled – this hasn’t been able to stop CAFOD’s amazing supporters.

Last weekend, supporters across the country took part in fun and imaginative 2.6 challenges to fundraise for CAFOD’s work around the world.

“We were overwhelmed by the response from our supporters”, said Jo Kitterick, CAFOD’s Head of Fundraising.

“The generosity of people around the country during this time has been really amazing – so we want to say a massive thank you.”

“We know that this is a marathon, not a sprint.

We are already working with our programme teams around the world to help protect communities who are already extremely vulnerable.

Therese walking for 2.6 hours on Sunday – 8.8 miles….

“The lasting impact of this virus on the livelihoods and health of those who already live on the edge is potentially disastrous and the generosity of people is never more needed

“Thanks to the sustained donations from communities in England and Wales, it will mean that we can continue our vital work to help the poorest and most vulnerable.”

Meet our Head of International Development

 Through this phase of lockdown, it is important that we all stay connected as a community- so here at CAFOD we are hosting a range of online chats to keep you informed and connected during this difficult time.

If you missed our Head of International Development today – Maria Gonzalez – who was speaking about the greatest challenges facing our world right now, how we are responding and what gives her hope for the future.  Then follow the link below to register for the recording:

Eucharistic Celebration

Following the success of the Mass held before Easter, we are delighted to invite you all get involved this week in our live-stream mass – available to all who would like to participate.

The Mass will be taking place on Wednesday 29 April at 6 pm.

We will be bringing together our prayers from and for our communities and partners both across the global South and throughout the UK, into the presence of our loving God. We would be delighted if you could join us.

You can sign up here:

We hope you all have a lovely week and stay safe, and if you’d like to get in touch, please feel free to ring us on: 01989 768708 (working from home) or mobile: 07823 445112 or email


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 (  ®

Feast day of Saint Oscar Romero

CAFOD celebrates the life of its former partner, Saint Oscar Romero, who continues to inspire our work 40 years on from his death.

Find prayers and reflections inspired by Oscar Romero

Who was Oscar Romero?

  • Beatified on 23 May 2015
  • Centenary of his birth marked on 15 August 2017
  • On 7 March 2018 Pope Francis approved a miracle attributed to him, clearing the way for Romero to be canonised
  • Officially recognised as a saint in a ceremony on 14 October 2018
  • Oscar Romero was the Archbishop of San Salvador from 1977 until he was assassinated in 1980.
  • He was initially regarded as a conservative choice as archbishop, but he became increasingly outspoken about human rights violations in El Salvador – particularly after the murder of his close friend Father Rutilio Grande in March 1977.

During his three years as archbishop, Romero repeatedly denounced violence and spoke out on behalf of the victims of the civil war. In a time of heavy press censorship, his weekly radio broadcasts were often the only way people could find out the truth about the atrocities that were happening in their country. He defended the right of the poor to demand political change, a stance which made him a troublesome adversary for the country’s rulers.

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The current coronavirus pandemic means that the way in which we practice our faith in the world will change.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, in his letter to the Catholic Church in England and Wales said that we are to discover new ways in which we are able to sanctify the day:

“Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day”.


While we cannot gather in person, we can still come together as a community through prayer.  Join CAFOD online for a virtual children’s liturgy of the word.  We will share a Bible reading, song, reflection and prayer.   This Sunday morning at 10.00-10.15 am.

Please register beforehand. Click here to register.


Archdiocese of Cardiff Masses being streamed as at 20.03.2020

As the world endures the Coronavirus pandemic, the Church finds herself in uncharted waters for our lifetime.   The above page is from the Archdiocese of Cardiff which will endeavour to keep the diocese updated on resources, messages and information to help through a period of no public worship.

Live streamed Mass

There are a number of international resources for viewing the Mass online.

These include:

Eternal Word Television Network – broadcasts daily Mass at 12.00 noon

Shalom World Tv – daily mass at 9.00am & 9.00pm

ChurchServicesTv – livestream from churches around the world



St. David’s Cathedral, Cardiff – stream is located on their homepage.

St. Mary of the Angel’s, Canton – stream is located on their homepage, along with a daily schedule

All Saints Parish, Newport – stream is located on their Facebook channel & homepage, along with a daily schedule

Our Lady & St. Illtyd, Llanwit Major – see website for Mass schedule.  Stream will be via Facebook… click here for stream

Our Lady & St. Michael, Abergavenny – daily audio stream of Mass … click here

El Salvador: healing the trauma of conflict – a talk at St Helen’s in Caerphilly

The mural as we walked up to the Divine Providence Hospital and chapel

On Thursday 30 January, Canon John Kelly and a group of his parishioners at St Helen’s in Caerphilly came together to hear about our work in El Salvador.

Parishioners at St Helen’s, Caerphilly with Canon John Kelly

It was a first-hand update from Therese Warwick, CAFOD’s  representative in Cardiff and Menevia, who had recently visited San Salvador.

The altar where Oscar Romero was saying Mass when he was shot

The presentation included some further details and photos about the Divine Providence Hospital church, where Oscar Romero was assassinated, the adjacent cancer hospital and Saint Oscar Romero’s very simple home.


La Chacra is a very poor, slum area in the capital San Salvador.

Gang culture has flourished in El Salvador since the 12 year civil war ended in 1992.

Home life is chaotic. Alcohol, domestic violence and a lack of education, opportunity and hope in the future takes its inevitable toll.  There are no jobs, but lots of guns.  Identity was and is very important.

CAFOD is trying to help people get out of gangs, whose members are tattooed – even on their faces – so that they are easily identifiable as belonging to a particular gang.

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