Campaigning in Cardiff and Menevia

Campaign co-ordinators -Paul, Stella (Menevia), John (Cardiff) and Therese (Herefordshire)

On Monday 22 May, our new Campaign co-ordinators met in the Cardiff Volunteer Centre to look at the new Power to Be campaign and how we would like more of our parish communities in Cardiff and Menevia to put their faith into action by getting involved in campaigning on behalf of the world’s poorest communities.

Stella Westmacott and her husband Paul, have a wealth of knowledge about environmental issues and based in the lovely parish of Holy Cross, Pontyberem near Carmarthen.  John Fellows is our go-to campaigner in the Metropolitan Cathedral in Cardiff where he is parishioner.

We are looking to get as many people as possible involved in CAFOD’s next week of action on climate change, coming up from 1- 9 July 2017.

We are here to help encourage and support people to organise local events during the week, and if possible, inviting their newly elected local MP to join them.

CAFOD exercises strong and transparent stewardship of your donations to ensure that the money reaches the communities in most need.

But campaigning is an intrinsic part of our work.  We need to raise awareness of the root cases of poverty and the structures that keep people in poverty.  Sadly climate change hit the world’s poorest communities first and hardest.

So we are looking for volunteers to help with the Power To Be campaign.  It’s a sad fact but one in six people in the world are still living without electricity. The hopes of millions of children are too often a distant dream.

Kieran O’Brien with Campaign co-ordinators

Here are the answers to many frequently asked questions.

There are many ways to get involved and Stella, John and Therese will be contacting parishes across the dioceses to ask if you can get involved.

If you would like more information before their call, then please get in touch.

The warming caused by huge consumption on the part of some rich countries has repercussions on the poorest areas of the world, especially Africa, where a rise in temperature, together with drought, has proved devastating for farming. Pope Francis (Laudato Si’ #51)

 

Hustings in Swansea

Michael Doyle, Campaign volunteer from Tenby

On the last evening in May (Wednesday 31), the stage was set for International Hustings in Swansea at St Mary’s Church.

The event was jointly organised by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs and the Church in Wales and was chaired by the Rt Revd John Davies, Bishop of Swansea and Brecon.

It was an opportunity for our campaign volunteers from CAFOD to question representatives from the main political parties about key international issues within the remit of Westminster and the UK government.

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Creating beauty in Brecon

We’ve talked a lot about Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato si’ – on climate and justice which asks us all:

“to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home”

In the parish of St Michael in Brecon, parishioners really responded to Pope Francis’ call to action “to be protectors of God’s handiwork” which he says is essential to a life of virtue.  It’s not an optional nor a secondary aspect of our Christian experience (#217)

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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.

florence-in-zambia

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

supporters-with-green-heart-show-the-love-for-our-neighbours-in-zambia

Conversations about climate change…

green-heart

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

livesimply-group-monmouth-and-ross-4-jan-2017

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