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

Bridgend Gapper Kayleigh sets off to Sierra Leone tomorrow

Kayleigh is one of our Step into the Gap programme volunteers, who is leaving to visit our partners in Sierra Leone tomorrow.  We wish her a safe journey and will keep her and all the Gappers in our prayers.

Here’s an insight from Kayleigh on the eve of her departure on January 24.

“I have been at The Briars in Derbyshire over the past 3 months as part of CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme. Continue reading

Oscar Romero and campaigning

 

Oscar Romero retreat with Libby and Kieran Nov 17On Saturday 18 November, CAFOD supporters from across the Archdiocese of Cardiff travelled to the peaceful environs of the Croeso centre just outside Cwmbran in south-east Wales (for those of you who don’t know this beautiful part of the world) for a retreat on Blessed Oscar Romero, lead by Libby Abbott from our Campaigns team in Romero House, London.

Continue reading

Sowing seeds at St Joseph’s parish in Neath

The theme of sowing seeds was taken literally at St. Joseph’s parish in Neath this Autumn.

During the Harvest Mass led by St Joseph’s Primary School on 8th October, in thanksgiving for God’s generosity to us, provision was made for those in need both near and far.

A number of heavy carrier bags were presented at the Offertory for sharing between the local foodbank and the Sisters of Charity in Swansea; and the CAFOD Harvest Fast Day collection was taken up at the end of the celebration in support of farmers like Edelmira in El Salvador.

Following the Mass, a number of children and adults made their way to Our Lady’s Grotto where they generously scattered wildflower seeds in prepared areas of ground.

In the Summer of 2018 we hope that these seeds will grow into not only a colourful feast for human eyes, but also produce an abundance of nectar for many bees and other vital pollinators.

Time will tell…

Read how your Harvest Fast Day donations are spent. 

 

Thank you to Sandra Davies for sending through this lovely report.

The Missionaries of Charity do great work in the City of Swansea. They are based at 235, The Strand, SA1 2AW.  Every day they feed the homeless of Swansea and can accommodate 12 people every night who need a place to sleep. It was the last overseas house that Mother Teresa herself opened.

Schools respond to Harvest Fast Day appeal

St Bernadette’s Primary School, Pentwyn

Autumn, the wonderful season of mellow fruitfulness, has seen our dedicated team of schools volunteers visiting schools across the Archdiocese.

We cannot thank them enough for their enthusiasm and commitment to supporting our vision for change and our agenda for action.

At Harvest time, we celebrate and give thanks for the food we have.

Continue reading

Planting the seeds for Harvest Fast Day

Parishioners from Holy Name, Fishguard at the Harvest briefing

Blessed Oscar Romero regularly preached how:

“God wants a society where we share the good things that God has given for all of us.”

And at Harvest, we share God’s abundance with our neighbours.

“We plant the seeds that one day will grow.”

Continue reading

Celebrating Oscar Romero’s Centenary

To mark the Centenary year of Oscar Romero, both Therese and I attended the Ecumenical Evensong in Westminster Abbey to pay tribute to this truly inspirational, soon to be, saint.

It is hard to separate our work in CAFOD from the witness of Blessed Oscar Romero with the poor in his own country in El Salvador. Even before he was assassinated in 1980 for speaking out on behalf of the poorest in, Monsenor Romero, as he is known by the Salvadoran people, was already a saint in their eyes.  Continue reading