Join us for an online talk about life in El Salvador

Last year, a group of CAFOD volunteers and local representatives went to El Salvador. In this online talk, they will share their incredible experiences.

El Salvador is a country with a turbulent history: Despite the civil war in the country ending in January 1992, poverty, high unemployment and gang violence still make life very difficult, especially for women and young people.

Farming communities are struggling to grow their crops on poor land.

Climate change is causing more extreme weather in El Salvador with floods, droughts and tropical storms becoming more frequent.

 

CAFOD has worked with local partners and communities in El Salvador since 1974.

We are inspired by Saint Oscar Romero and his insistence on the need for peace, justice, equality and respect for human rights.

 

In El Salvador, our projects focus on agriculture, promoting a culture of peace and justice, and empowering women.

Please join us on Tuesday 28 July at 11 am-12 noon with the priests and volunteers who visited El Salvador, to learn more about the rich history and our work in the country today.

Register to join us.

 

This week’s online talks – Tuesday and Thursday at 11 am

Ana Manganaro Clinic in El Salvador responds to COVID-19

Coronavirus in Latin America

Tuesday, 26 May 11 am – 12 noon

Join us online to hear how Coronavirus is hitting the poorest in Latin America and how our partners are responding – presented by Clare Dixon Head of Latin America team at CAFOD.

Register to join us.

How Local Volunteers Respond Quickly in Emergencies in Zimbabwe and Nigeria

Thursday, 28 May 11 am-12 noon

Hand washing training and hygiene kit distribution to prevent Coronavirus in Nigeria

Hear how amazing volunteers in Zimbabwe and Nigeria are trained and respond quickly in emergencies.

CAFOD staff Luckson Mashiri from Zimbabwe and Oge Chukwudozie from Nigeria share their stories

Register to join us.

Past online talks

Browse all past online talks

Laudato Si’ week – take a look at the events planned

TOMORROW – Laudato Si’ – volunteer prayer & chat, Tuesday 19 May @ 11 am
Five years after the publication of Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical Laudato Si’, let’s come together online in prayer and reflection on caring for our common home. This online meeting will include a Bible reading, chance to reflect and share and a time of prayer together. Don’t forget to have a candle to light if you can.

NB ticket orders will close 1 hour before the start of the session in order to allow time for us to send you the link.

Vigil Mass for Ascension Thursday with Bishop John Arnold, Wed 20 May @ 6pm

All are welcome to join together in solidarity and prayer to celebrate a special Vigil Mass for Ascension Thursday during Laudato Si’ week. It will be streamed live from Salford Cathedral. We look forward to having you join us on 20 May at 6pm.

Motivating talk: Neil Thorns (CAFOD’s Head of Advocacy)  Thursday 21 May @ 11am

Join us online for an inspirational talk from CAFOD’s Head of Advocacy and find about the amazing people he meets in his work and how Laudato Si’ has affected him.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Coronavirus in Latin America with Clare Dixon, Tue 26 May @ 11 am

Local volunteers in Zimbabwe & Nigeria responding quickly in emergencies:Thu 28 May @ 11am

Bookings for all of these via the website: 

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.

Continue reading

Hereford cubs show the love for the environment this Valentine’s day

Therese Warwick, CAFOD’s representative in Cardiff and Menevia, shares this account of her recent visit to two Hereford cub groups:

Last week, I was invited to visit two groups of Hereford cubs to give a short talk about what an international charity does.

Both groups were working towards their international badge and one option was to learn more about an international charity, so it was a wonderful opportunity to talk to them all about how CAFOD works with  communities all around the world.

It was a brilliant too to share some details about my recent trip to El Salvador and the importance of standing alongside those who are living in poverty.

Both cub packs asked some interesting questions after watching some short films.

Everyone was so well behaved, welcoming, interested and eager to learn more about our work.

The Laudato Si’ animation was a great way to start a conversation about climate change too and to explain how what we do here in this country has an impact on some of the very poorest communities in the world.

The cubs gave great suggestions about recycling, cutting down on plastic and not wasting water.

Everything is interconnected.and there is only one Earth – so it’s important that we look after it, look after each and come together to show our love for the environment and nature.

It was a great meeting that really got the cubs thinking, and they all had a chance to take a green heart home and make their own environmental pledge and talk to their families about what they had learned.  Green hearts are part of the Climate Coalition’s campaign to protection the things we love from climate change.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

WHAT ARE WORLD GIFTS? Alternative charity gifts that can transform lives from as little as £4.

World Gifts are provided by CAFOD, the Catholic aid agency, and are alternative charity gifts that transform lives.

Perfect for not only for Christmas but also for baptisms, birthdays and anniversaries, you can choose a unique, virtual gift that will make a real difference to a family living in poverty.

We work with partners in some of the poorest communities in the world, listening to their needs and helping them to find their own solutions. We work with all people regardless of race, gender, religion or nationality.

Each World Gift is a real example of CAFOD’s work. When you choose a gift, you support the area of our work that this gift represents.

So, for example, when you buy chickens, you support our work with poor farmers in rural areas of developing countries by contributing to our Livestock, Agriculture and Livelihoods fund.

This gives us the flexibility to respond in the best way possible to the individual needs of the different communities we work with all over the world. 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.

Continue reading

Romero talk by Clare Dixon

Blessed Oscar Romero, due to be canonised in October, was one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th Century. In preparation for his canonisation we are delighted to welcome speaker Clare Dixon, who has an incredible insight and knowledge of Romero’s legacy through her work and close ties with communities in Latin America.

The Cornerstone, Charles St, Cardiff, CF10 2GA

Sat 6 October – 7:00pm

Mass 5:30, tea and coffee 6:30, talk at 7:00pm

FREE -All Welcome Continue reading

Romero Festival in South Wales (9-15 March)

Today brought wonderful news from the Vatican: Pope Francis has recognized a second miracle from Blessed Oscar Romero which puts him on the path to canonization.

He was beatified by Pope Francis in May 2015.

Romero was Archbishop of San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. He was assassinated on 24 March 1980 as he was celebrating Mass.

At the time, El Salvador was in the grip of a cruel civil war between guerrilla forces on the left and a dictatorial government on the right.

When he was appointed, Oscar Romero was seen as a “safe” pair of hands but during his three short years as Archbishop, and seeing the oppression and violence at first hand, he became an outspoken critic of the injustice he was witnessing all around him. Continue reading