St Francis inspires Ysgol Gatholig Sant Ffransis, Aberdaughleddau

Ysgol Gatholig Sant Ffransis, Aberdaugleddau – St Francis Catholic School in Milford Haven played their part in turning little fish into Big Fish for CAFOD’s Lent appeal in March.

There was a wonderful display in the hall with many colourful Mr Fish and thoughtful prayers that the children had shared.

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Creative ideas for Lent at St Francis Xavier’s

On Monday 13 March one of our schools volunteers, Therese Warwick, visited St Francis Xavier’s RC Primary School in Hereford to share the message of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ at assembly.

Watch the animation here.

This was followed up with a workshop with Year 4 and their class teacher, Mrs George who is also the school’s eco-co-ordinator.

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Earth Hour – Saturday 25 March at 8.30 p.m. in the UK

What is Earth Hour?  And why should we be interested?

Earth Hour is an annual global celebration where people switch off their lights for one hour to show that they care about the future of our planet.

It’s the tenth anniversary of Earth Hour and it’s estimated that over 6 million people will take part in the UK.

CAFOD is speaking out about climate change because it is the single biggest threat to reducing poverty that exists today. Whether it’s floods destroying livelihoods or unpredictable rains leaving millions hungry.

The last three years have been the hottest on record.

It’s estimated that nearly 1 in 6 species are at risk of becoming extinct – all down to climate change.

We have just one world and it’s changing fast.

It’s never been more important to show that we care.

In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis calls on us all to make simple daily gestures to care for the world’s poorest people, for future generations and for the earth, our common home.

This is an opportunity to live wisely, think deeply and love generously.

Since the Paris agreement in 2015 and the UK’s own Climate Act – there have been strong calls for action – but the need is urgent and now is the time to act to protect our beautiful planet Earth.

Earth Hour is a global movement, which brings millions together across the world to call for greater action.

In 2016 a record number of countries took part – 178 countries – in fact and each year more countries come on board.

Famous landmarks around the globe take part – the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh Castle and in Wales, the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, Cardiff Castle and the National Library of Wales, the Principality Stadium and the Liberty Stadium, as well as many other cities, towns and communities like our very own across the world will switch off their lights and come together for an hour, to join a global show of support for action on climate change.

Will you join us tonight (Saturday 25 March) at 8.30 p.m.  Sign up, switch off your lights and show you want action on climate change.

Get to know more about climate change by reading about our latest campaign.

Let us pray for the earth, our common home.

Send us an update if you take part.  We’d love you to help us with our campaigns too.  There are many ways to get involved!

Sr Yvonne from Zambia

supporters-with-sr-yvonne-at-nazareth-house-cardiffOn Monday 13 February we welcomed Sr Yvonne to Wales.  She is from the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who is one of our overseas partners in Mbala in Zambia.

Sr Yvonne and her community are living out Pope Francis’ call to hear the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor.

She shared her story with supporters at Nazareth House on Monday 13 February.  Sr Yvonne has been working with a project called “Households in Distress” supporting some of the most vulnerable communities to adapt to climate change.

sr-yvonneSr Yvonne is also working with small-scale farmers, helping them to grow crops that are resistant to drought. Farmers who only maintain maize are much more susceptible to crop failure, especially as maize totally depends on the rains which are become increasingly erratic because of a changing climate.

Sr Yvonne shared the story of Florence, a widow with two children from Zambia (pictured below) who, with your help, has been able to turn tiny fish into a thriving business and a future for her family.

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She says:

“Each day of my life, I look at everything – creation, people – and I say, ‘Well this is what God has created and it is good.’

 

It is our duty as Christians to bring back that goodness because in this world and in our country – some of the injustices, the sufferings and a lot of negative things, unfortunately take away that goodness. So for me it’s all the time trying to bring that goodness.”

If you missed Sr Yvonne’s talk or webinar, all is not lost as there is a YouTube link here

Find all our Lent Fast day resources here

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Conversations about climate change…

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We are so blessed in the Archdiocese.  All of us have a special place that we love to visit.  Maybe it’s our local park, the spectacular Brecon Beacons, the meandering Wye in Herefordshire or the beautiful coastline of Pembrokeshire.   They are all places we treasure. Continue reading

New Year resolutions to live more simply

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Parishioners from the LiveSimply group from St Mary’s in Monmouth and St Frances of Rome, Ross-on-Wye have been getting together over the last six months to explore ways to live more simply in their respective communities.

The first meeting of the new year saw the group hone in on planning the actions that they wish to take going forward.  Pope Francis has called on us all to make simple daily gestures to care for the world’s poorest people, for future generations and for the earth, our common home. Continue reading

Former Step into the Gap volunteer from Wales meets Pope Francis

 

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Eleanor met Pope Francis at the Vatican

A former CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer and Swansea University graduate has been specially selected to travel to a prestigious conference in Rome where she met with Pope Francis.

Eleanor Margetts, who grew up in Bridgend and attended Archbishop McGrath Catholic Comprehensive School, has previously spent some time volunteering in the CAFOD South Wales office in Cardiff. It was through this volunteering experience that Eleanor originally heard about and applied to attend the conference.

Read about Eleanor’s story on the CAFOD website

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Calling for action on Climate Change

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Dr Jesse Norman MP with Therese Warwick

Harvest Fast Day (7 October) was the date when Dr Jesse Norman, MP was holding his surgery in the Larruperz Centre in Ross-on-Wye.

Local constituent and CAFOD volunteer, Therese Warwick, was delighted to be able to meet with Dr Norman to talk about climate change and in particular, CAFOD’s Power to the People campaign, just before the national Week of Action (8-16 October).

When we met in early October, Jesse Norman said three things needed to be balanced:

“industrial strategy, energy strategy and the economy…”

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4 October – Feast day of St. Francis of Assisi

Today, 4 October marks the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and of the environment. Here we look at the significance of today, in light of Laudato Si’ and the recently proclaimed World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. 

St Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi receiving the stigmata.

4 October is recognised by Christians worldwide as the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi. Born to a merchant family in 12th century Italy, Francis renounced his title and inheritance in order to live amongst the poor, he eventually founded what would become the Franciscan Order.

Learn more about Laudato Si’ and St. Francis of Assisi

Pope Gregory IX canonised Francis in 1228 and he became the patron saint of animals and the environment. This was due to his profound reverence for God’s creation and his belief that all creatures are brothers and sisters under God.

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