Our mission for peace in Colombia

Our overseas speaker was welcomed to a parish soup lunch to discuss the Hands On project in Colombia that strives to help those living in violence and poverty and help build a peaceful future for the small region of Magdalena Medio.

Barbara Davies, who is our Country Representative for Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, gave a presentation at the parish of Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Porthcawl on Saturday. Barbara explained CAFOD’s latest project ‘Hands on Magdalena Medio’ and how the parish and community can get involved with inspiring this generation to be the generation of peace.

In her presentation, Barbara discussed Colombia’s internal conflict and how CAFOD’s three-year peace building programme can tackle violence in the community. The project aims to support people in Magdalena Medio by organising a variety of workshops in 34 schools, teaching young people how to avoid violence, allowing them to share what they learn with family and neighbours and encourage the younger generation to help transform the country. 

One of the key ideas is in this project is inspiring the fight for peace but with no weapons, only knowledge, education and training.

At then end of the presentation, people attending were asked to share their messages of peace and hope to let the people of Magdalena Medio know that on the other side of the world, they have not been forgotten and they are being held in love and prayer.

The soup lunch was organised by our parish volunteer Jenny Worthington who has supported CAFOD for over 20 years. With the help of volunteers like Jenny, we can raise more awareness for struggling communities like Magdalena Medio and help transform lives.

For more information on how your parish can get Hands On, visit https://cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/Parish-fundraising/Hands-On

Getting Hands On for Colombia

Parish fundraiser invites overseas speaker to parish soup lunch at 12:00 pm, to tell us how we can get Hands On in Colombia.

We welcome Barbara Davies-Quy, our Country Representative for Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. She will be giving a talk in Porthcawl, at the parish of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, on Saturday 16 February, at 1:00 pm. Continue reading

Oscar Romero and CAFOD

Archbishop Oscar Romero gave his life, in the words of Pope John Paul II, “for the Church and the people of his beloved country” of El Salvador.

Until his assassination, Archbishop Oscar Romero (1917-1980) of San Salvador spoke out courageously in defence of human rights and social justice in strife-torn El Salvador.

Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez was born in Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador, on August 15, 1917. One of ten children. He was apprenticed to a local carpenter when he was 13 years old but he felt a vocation for the priesthood.  He left home the following year to enter the seminary and was ordained in 1942.

Romero spent the first twenty-five years of his ministry as a parish priest and diocesan secretary in San Miguel. In 1970 he became auxiliary bishop of San Salvador where he remained for four years until 1974 when the Vatican named him to the see of Santiago de María, a poor, rural diocese which included the town he grew up in.

In 1977 he returned to San Salvador to succeed Archbishop Luis Chávez y González, who had retired after almost 40 years in office.

Oscar Romero was living in a period of dramatic change in the Church in Latin America.

As Clare Dixon, Head of CAFOD in Latin America told us in the Cornerstone in Cardiff on Saturday 6 October, the region’s bishops, had met at Medellín in Colombia, in 1967 to discuss how to implement the recommendations of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), locally.

Canon Peter Collins and CAFOD supporters and J & P campaigners at The Cornerstone in Cardiff to hear Clare Dixon, CAFOD’s Head of Programme in Latin America for almost 40 years.

El Salvador was an extremely conservative society where a privileged few enjoyed enormous wealth at the expense of the very impoverished majority. Some younger priests recognized the injustice and imbalance of this situation and sided with the poor but the lone voice of encouragement in their efforts came from Archbishop Chávez y González.

During this period Oscar Romero was seen as a conservative and sometimes sceptical of both the Vatican II reforms and the Medellin pronouncements.

So when he was appointed Archbishop in 1977, he was not a popular choice with the politically active clergy, who saw his appointment as preserving the status quo in a safe pair of hands.

However, Romero emerged almost immediately as an outspoken opponent of injustice and fearless defender of the poor and suffering.

Romero himself said that he owed his change of attitude to his time as Bishop of Santiago de María, where he witnessed firsthand the suffering of El Salvador’s landless poor.

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Hands on for Peace in Colombia

We are delighted to have Barbara Davies, our colleague in CAFOD who works as country representative for Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, will be giving a presentation on the peace process in Colombia at The Temple of Peace in Cardiff on Wednesday 24 October at 12 noon.

Barbara has been working on peace and development issues for over a decade across South America. Originally from Penarth, one of the first campaigns she worked on was to create a solidarity and awareness raising link between Wales and Colombia, highlighting the civil war that was taking place there and the amount of people displaced by the conflict.

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