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.

 

It’s not too late to join us today at 6 pm for our Eucharistic celebration

Abbé Michel Kabongenaje leads mass in the Ebola-hit town of Mambasa, DRC. The Abbé frquently preaches about the dangers of Ebola to his congregation.

As churches across the country begin to slowly reopen, we wanted to organise an online service to allow our CAFOD community from around the country and world to come together to celebrate mass.

On Wednesday 22 July, at 6 pm, we will join in solidarity and prayer to celebrate a live-streamed Mass.

The event is open to communities across the UK, as well as to CAFOD partners and communities around the world.

Jo Kitterick, CAFOD’s Head of Fundraising and Participation, said:

“Online sessions give families, friends and volunteers an opportunity to celebrate their faith in a way that is familiar at a time when we are being challenged and asked to do things so differently.

“During these tough times, it is so wonderful to be able to reach out to each other and to those who are feeling physically distant from the ones they love and their traditional places of worship – and virtually come together as a community and Catholic family.”

It is hoped that the online Mass will be an opportunity for us to come together in prayer, joined by communities and partners from across the world.

Please register to join us.

A prayer for refugees and migrants, especially the Rohingya

Merciful God,

We place into your care all the refugees and migrants, especially the Rohingya.

God who hurts with humanity, we lift up our voices and pour out our hearts to You,

in sadness and grief, for those who don’t have anyone to hear their suffering and pain,

for those who don’t have anyone to love and care,

for those who don’t have anyone to tell their stories

and especially for those who have been suffering due to this pandemic

and struggling with Coronavirus to see another day in their life.

We pray for the refugees who have fled for their lives,

facing various limitations in many congested camps

and suffering from many contaminated disasters

for the unhealthy and unhygienic atmosphere of the camps,

and fighting for survival with COVID-19.

We pray for their courage of heart and strength of mind and body.

Keep them safe from harm.

Amen

Inmanuel Chayan Biswas, Communications Officer for Caritas Bangladesh in Cox’s Bazar

.Caritas Bangladesh

 

Five ways you can join in our Coronavirus appeal

There are many ways to get involved in our Coronavirus appeal and here we’ve listed a few ideas to get you started.

  1. Share on social media

We always share our latest updates and news on all our social media channels. Make sure that you are following our social media pages: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Click to follow us here: Twitter  Facebook  and Instagram Instagram (South Wales account) so you can be the first to hear about the latest developments in our projects and programmes and keep up-to-date with what is happening locally.

  1. Organise an event for our Summer of Hope

This summer, like never before, we are called to be signs of hope for our world.

And you can get involved by getting your friends, family and community together to virtually recreate a summer event, while fundraising for our Coronavirus appeal.

Could you get family on friends together online and come up with some quiz questions for fun, and donate or organise a virtual parish pilgrimage, getting sponsored for each mile walked?

Jane Davies from St Michael & All Angels parish at Belmont Abbey in Hereford recently took up this challenge and you can visit her fundraising page here: (21 mile sponsored walk). 

Check our A-Z fundraising guide for more ideas.

  1. Ask your friends to sign our petition for overseas debt cancellation

Through his Easter Urbi et Orbi message of hope, Pope Francis called for the whole world to be united in the face of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Urging us all to reject indifference, he called for the reduction, if not the forgiveness, of the debt that is “burdening the balance sheet of the poorest nations.

The spread of Coronavirus to countries with poor health systems will be devastating.  By cancelling debt payments, this money can be diverted to the health systems and infrastructure that is desperately needed.

At CAFOD we recently launched a petition asking the government to ensure that the most vulnerable and marginalised people are the priority in the UK’s international efforts as well as at home.

As Pope Francis reminds us, together we can speak out against a ‘globalisation of indifference’. We can use our voices to call for a fair and just political response

Make sure to sign and share our petition to help protect the world’s most vulnerable

  1. Get your parish or church group together for a virtual a Coronavirus prayer morning

We are so often told by the communities that we work alongside that prayers from communities in the UK are so powerful and meaningful to them.

Your prayers help to connect us as a global family and shows great solidarity and support.

So, why not get your parish group together for a prayer meeting and together reflect on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting our global brothers and sisters?

We have a selection of coronavirus prayers available for download

 

5. Donate the price of your coffee, haircut, or gym membership to the coronavirus appeal.

When lockdown meant that Jacquelyn and Alan Williams couldn’t frequent their local coffee shop, they decided to set up their own garden café and donate the price of their daily coffee to CAFOD’s coronavirus appeal.

Jacqueline said: “Before the lockdown, we never really thought anything about going a few times a week for a quick coffee and cake, but since we’ve been in lockdown, we realised how much we missed that experience. So, we decided to recreate it in our own garden – and it’s been a real treat! We wanted to do this to show everyone how easy it is to fundraise and help others.

It doesn’t have to be something big.

A small gesture really can make a big difference.”

Why not follow Jacqueline and Alan’s lead and donate the price of something you’ve saved to help families around the world?

 

Volunteer prayer reflection & virtual coffee morning this Thursday at 11 am

After such a delightful gathering of people at last week’s Mass in celebration of Volunteers’ Week, we would like to invite you all to join us this Thursday 11 June, 11 am-12 noon, for prayer and reflection.

This will be a great opportunity to meet with other volunteers from around the country, enjoy a short reflection and prayer.

 

 

It would be lovely if you could have a candle ready to light when you join the prayer.

After the reflection, there will be time to stay on the call for a virtual coffee morning, where you will have the chance to join a wider conversation.

Register to join us.

All welcome.

Pentecost Prayer

God who cannot be bound…
Flow into our hearts and minds.
Wear down our resistance to your love
and refresh us with the spirit of your compassion.
Today, as we commit ourselves once more to your work
we ask you to show us how to hold the needs of your world at the heart of our lives and to celebrate your many gifts with joy.
May your power transform our lives.
May your Spirit set us free.
And may the blessing of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
be with us all now and forever.
Amen.
(written by Linda Jones/CAFOD)
More prayers to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost

Update from our partners on our Coronavirus response

Water and sanitation in Nigeria

We are receiving regular updates from our local aid experts, sharing the progress of projects in countries like Nigeria

Food distribution and cash payments to vulnerable families in Bangladesh

And information from local organisations who are working in some of the most vulnerable communities, like Caritas Bangladesh who is working alongside refugee in the camps in Cox’s Bazar.

Coronavirus awareness-raising training with faith leaders in Sierra Leone

A couple of weeks ago, we had a brilliant webinar with Kayode Akintola, our Country Representative in Sierra Leone, about the Ebola crisis and its relevance for the coronavirus outbreak.

You can catch up here if you missed it.

One of our CAFOD volunteers in the North East, Paul Robinson, the Managing Director of PER Productions, kindly volunteered his professional expertise to create these three short videos based around Kayode’s talk.

You can watch them here, and please feel free to share them with members of your community, school or parish:

Coronavirus threatens Sierra Leone: https://vimeo.com/418056059

CAFOD responds to coronavirus in Sierra Leone: https://vimeo.com/418056395

CAFOD supporters keep hope alive in Sierra Leone: https://vimeo.com/418056858

 

Prayer in this time of challenge

God of Love, we turn to you with prayerful hearts and with confidence in your loving presence among us now and in every moment of our lives. We stand before you as a people of hope, trusting in your care and protection. May we be comforted by your love in these anxious times.

Generous and Merciful God, fill us with compassion and concern for others, young and old; that we may look after each other in these challenging times, especially those among us who are vulnerable.

May your example give us the courage we need to go to the margins, wherever they may be. Heal us of our fear.

Healing God, bring healing to those who are sick with the Coronavirus and be with their families and neighbours.

We pray especially who those who are isolated, that they may know your love. Stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.

God of Strength, accompany all those who serve us with such love and generosity in the medical profession and in all our healthcare facilities.

We give thanks for their continued work in the service of people. We ask you to bless them, strengthen them and guide them with your abundant goodness.

God of Wisdom, we ask you to guide the leaders in healthcare and governance; that they may make the right decisions for the well-being of people.

O God of creation and God of life, we, your people place ourselves and our world in your protection and love. May your peace be with us and enfold us today, tomorrow and during the time ahead.

We make our prayer through the intercession of Mary, our Mother, and all the saints. Amen

 

With thanks to + Larry Duffy, Bishop of Clogher

 

Other prayers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Donate to CAFOD’s Coronavirus appeal – if you are able. Every penny makes a difference.  Thank you.

Our common home and care for the vulnerable

Here is a lovely short film from Bishop Mark O’Toole in Plymouth Diocese – reflecting on Laudato Si’ and May, the month of Mary.

Download a copy of Laudato Si‘ – a work of Catholic Social Teaching and a way to proclaim our faith anew.

 

SUMMER OF HOPE

As we celebrate the fifth-year anniversary of Laudato Si’, now seems the perfect time to reflect on Pope Francis’ words from his ground-breaking encyclical.

His words, calling everyone to hear to ‘the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor’ seem particularly apt during this time of the Coronavirus pandemic, where we have seen communities come together in solidarity to tackle the virus.

And, in the scale of the global pandemic, we are often drawn to thinking that our individual actions can’t make a difference. Yet, Pope Francis reminds us that “all it takes is one good person to restore hope.”

So, this summer, we are calling you and your family to help restore hope in your local and our global community. We are calling on you to be the signs of hope for our world.

What can I do?

Getting involved is easy.

We are inviting everyone to get involved in the Summer of Hope by recreating at home the events you will miss this summer and transforming them into a sign of hope through raising money for CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal.

From sports days to summer fayres, we have a whole range of ideas you can reinvent at home in our A-Z of fundraising ideas.

You can hold your socially-distanced event with your family, school community or parish – and make sure to record your efforts on social media, tagging your photos and posts with @cafod #summerofhope.

Fundraising is easy through a JustGiving page and if you’d like any help, just drop us a phone call or email on [insert local details here]. You can also donate directly through the CAFOD website.

We can’t wait to see everything you get up to!

Dermot O’Leary backs CAFOD’s coronavirus appeal

Dermot O’Leary has added his backing to our Coronavirus Appeal for people living in some of the poorest countries in the world.

The TV and radio presenter said:

“Millions of people in developing countries face devastation from coronavirus and will be able to do nothing to stop it.

They need all the help they can get.

“That is why I am backing CAFOD’s fundraising appeal, so that people already living on the brink get some of the care and support we would want our own families to receive.”

“Please give whatever you can and help CAFOD’s local experts deliver food, provide clean water and train community leaders to help save lives.”

Donate now

What is my lockdown legacy?

Five years ago, Pope Francis wrote Laudato Si’ – a profound invitation to everyone on the planet to care for the earth, our common home. To mark its anniversary, Pope Francis invites us all to participate in Laudato Si’ week from 16-24 May.

During Laudato Si’ week, we at CAFOD are asking you to think about your hope for the world – to reflect and think about the world beyond lockdown.

To get involved, we are asking you to share what you want your lockdown legacy to be on social media using #LockdownLegacy and tagging @CAFOD.

Lots of people have already got involved.

Mrs Henderson from Manchester said: “My hope for the world is that we may never take the small things for granted because really they were the big things; the things that nourished our souls.”

While Councillor Sam Corcoran, Leader of Cheshire East Council, shared a message on twitter about his lockdown legacy around the environment and Laudato Si.

Listen to Councillor Sam Corcoran’s full message

We are really looking forward to hearing about your #lockdownledgacy

Bishop John Arnold hosts virtual mass for Laudato Si’ week

To mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical Laudato Si’, Bishop John Arnold of Salford is set to hold a special Mass and is inviting parishioners from across the country to join the online service.

Since churches were forced to close due to the lockdown, Priests across the country have leapt into action, organising online services so congregations can still celebrate together.

Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, has been no exception hosting regular masses live-streamed from Salford Cathedral with the latest being planned for Wednesday 20 May, 6-7 pm, to mark the five year anniversary of Pope Francis environmental letter, Laudato Si’.

The Laudato Si’ Week Eucharistic Celebration with Bishop John Arnold will take place on Wednesday, 20 May 6-7 pm, you can tune into watch here: https://www.churchservices.tv/salfordcathedral