Swansea church invites a change of heart

Jane, Sally & StuartSt David’s Priory RC Church in Swansea invited their parish community to a change of The shared table heart on Sunday 22 September at a special Mass to celebrate creation.

“And God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:25).  God’s gaze, at the beginning of the bible, rests lovingly on his creation.  From habitable land to life-giving waters, from fruit-bearing trees to animals that share our common home, everything is dear in the eyes of God, who offers creation to men and women as a precious gift to be preserved.”

Pope Francis on the World Day of Prayer for Creation   1 September 2019

The Creation Celebration Mass was introduced by two long-serving parish volunteers, Sally Meredith and Stuart Harper, ably supported by Mary, Geraldine, Maureen and Jane.

Barely a day goes by when the newspapers don’t have an article about climate change.  They highlight that the critical time is NOW!

The idea was to come together and engage in a conversation about climate change which is a concern for the whole parish community and to share ideas.

To prepare for the the event, parishioners were also invited to bring in any articles and photos that had made an impact on them and pin them to the display board in church. .

Planet; the creation given to us by our Father to nurture, not plunder.

Pope Francis invites us to a change of heart; individually, as a community and at international level, so we may truly respond to “both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. LS#49

A superb choir provided the music and lead the congregation with wonderful hymns including: “Here I am Lord” “We come to your feast” “Bread for the world” and “Christ be our light.”

The special the bidding prayers were said in four different languages: Hindi, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish as well as being translated back into English.

It was a very inclusive Mass.  And it was super to see so many young altar servers attending Canon Flook at Mass.

A shared table was organised for after Mass and parishioners and items to bring were carefully co-ordinated to avoid wastage.  There was a wonderful offering of food.

There was a marvellous response from the parish and Stuart Harper compered a climate quiz during lunch. Fabulous entertainment was provided by Keith & Co.

It was a wonderful occasion.  Thanks to a committed, knowledgeable and prayerful parish volunteer team, Canon Flook and enthusiastic fellow parishioners.

Find out more about CAFOD’s action on climate change here. 

Sign the petition to ask the government to stop funding fossil fuels overseas.

Download a prayer for the Care of Creation to use in your parish.

LOVE IS CIVIC & POLITICAL: Our Faith and the Common Good

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You are warmly invited to join us for a CAFOD Faith in Action day.

Previously known as retreats, the Faith in Action days are free and open to all; whether you are new to campaigning, want to learn more about campaigning or you joined us a long time ago, you are very welcome. 

From Trump to Brexit to climate, politics is everywhere. But when should we pray from the side-lines and when should we roll up our sleeves?

The Church here and around the world has a proud history of encouraging Catholics’ political reflection and action. With amazing results.

At this CAFOD day, we’ll explore the links between faith and politics.

Join us and reflect on Scripture and Church teaching.

Sign up on Eventbrite today.

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DEPUTY HEAD OF AFRICA TO SPEAK AT ALL SAINTS NEWPORT

You are warmly invited to St Mary’s Stow Hill (All Saints Pastoral Area) – St Mary’s Institute (parish hall), Stow Hill, Newport (NP20 1TP) on Saturday 21 September at 3.30 pm to meet Damian Marchant – deputy Head of Region for Africa at CAFOD – who will give an update on CAFOD’s work around the world.

James joined CAFOD in 2007 and served overseas for seven years in Latin America and three years in Africa. He will give us a snapshot of the complexity of operating in some extremely insecure environments.

CAFOD has worked in sub-Saharan Africa since the 1970s and James currently holds operation responsibility for CAFOD’s overseas programmes in Kenya, Uganda, Niger, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and eSwatini (Swaziland).

James will also cover how CAFOD works hand in hand with the church and how knowledge of the local context allows CAFOD to work with communities in a way that is so inspiring.

Come and hear how your support for CAFOD contributes to positive change in the lives of so many communities.

Free event with tea & coffee available.  Feel free to bring a friend or fellow parishioner.  You will all be welcome.

Mass follows at 4.30 p.m.

Further information from CAFOD South Wales on 02920 344 822 or email: southwales@cafod.org.uk

 

CAFOD AND WORKING WITH OUR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

You are very welcome to join us on Thursday 19 September 2019 for our termly Education refresher training update which will be held in the Mostyn Room, adjacent to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint David in Cardiff (right next door to M & S).

If you think would like to join our team of volunteers working in the Archdiocese of Cardiff, then get in touch

We’d love to have a chat and invite you in to the volunteer centre in the heart of Cardiff to tell you all about what’s involved.  It’s as little or as much as you want to commit.

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First Creation Celebration Mass in Menevia

On Saturday 25 July Our Lady, Star of the Sea parish in Burry Port hosted a Creation Mass at their 6.30 evening service.  The celebrant was the parish priest Fr Martin Donnelly.  The church was transformed into the Garden of Eden by Fr Martin to reflect the beauty and wonder of creation. This included the altar being festooned with animals and clouds, the sun, the moon and stars provided by the local school being hung nearby.

As parishioners and invited guests arrived for the Saturday Vigil they witnessed the transformation and listened to bird song until Mass began.

Fr Martin explained the importance holding a special Creation Celebration Mass and remembering how God had entrusted the care of Creation to us.  He also stressed the importance of listening to Pope Francis; in Laudato Si‘ the Holy Father has described how our beautiful planet has been despoiled and exploited for profit. We all need to value Creation.

“Creation is the order of love.  God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things.”  Laudato Si #77

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Creation Celebration Mass at Burry Port

 

Our Lady, Star of the Sea parish in Burry Port is holding the first Creation Celebration Mass in the Archdiocese on Saturday 25 May at 6.30 pm. Followed by tea & coffee and conversation about climate change.  Parishioners from any parish are cordially invited to attend.

What is a Creation Celebration?  It’s just one element of CAFOD’s new climate campaign: “Our Common Home.”

As Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si (#14)’:

“We need a conversation which includes
everyone, since the environmental
challenge we are undergoing, and its
human roots, concern and affect us all.”

To avoid the worst effects of climate change, we must limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Going above 1.5°C warming could multiply hunger, migration and conflict.

To avoid this, we need the UK to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2045. This will mean Britain no longer contributes to climate change.

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Cyclone Idai appeal – Diolch yn fawr iawn

CAFOD is a founding member of the DEC (The Disasters Emergency Committee).

The DEC brings 14 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis to provide and deliver aid.

 

The DEC responds to disasters in the world’s poorest countries,using a set of criteria to help it decide when to launch an appeal and how it can be most effective. 

The 14 member agencies are experts in humanitarian aid, delivering effective disaster response and swift humanitarian assistance to those that need it most. 

The decisions about how your donations are allocated to each member agency when a disaster strikes are taken in advance, based on each charity’s ability to deliver aid where it is needed.

The DEC makes certain that how it spends your money ensures that communities receive the urgent humanitarian aid required, as well as long term support to rebuild their lives after a disaster.

So we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you for your extremely generous support for the DEC Cyclone Idai appeal – in parishes and in schools.  It’s truly humbling.

As of 7 April the DEC and its member charities had raised over £29 million for people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi who have been affected by Cyclone Idai.

Thank you too to people in Wales who donated to DEC Cymru – raising over £850,000.

Sadly more than 1000 people have lost their lives and and almost 3 million people are affected.  And now Mozambique has confirmed 3,100 cases of cholera and six deaths. A huge vaccination programme is underway.

Listen to a live report from Gabriele Bertani CAFOD’s  country representative speaking from Maputo on the situation on the ground, our intervention and challenges affecting the lives of millions of people.

Just click on the link below to listen to the recording.

Direct webinar link to register is: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/986376677044844034

This will be a long-term aid effort to help families to start to rebuild their lives.

Please consider donating to CAFOD’s Cyclone Idai emergency appeal. 

Please continue to pray for all those affected by this disaster.

O Lord, be near to your people now,
as they face devastation and loss.
Stay close to those who are broken-hearted
and hold fast to those whose spirit is crushed.

Lead us and guide us for our hope rests in you.
Inspire us to reach out
and answer the cries of those in need.

So that those who mourn may be comforted,
those who are frightened find courage,
those who hunger and thirst may be satisfied
and those who are homeless find refuge.

O God, make haste,
hear the cry of your people,
help us, our shield, our strength and our rock.

We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

 

Schools giving it up to transform lives

Yr 4 from St Joseph’s Cathedral Primary School in Swansea presenting the Give It Up assembly to the whole school!

Pupils from across the Archdiocese of Cardiff (including Menevia & Herefordshire) have given up some of their favourite things this Lent to help communities around the world who have been affected by climate change, as part of this year’s Give It Up Lent fundraising campaign.

In assemblies presented by our wonderful school volunteer team, children heard about the challenges that Mahinur and her family in Bangladesh are facing.

Mahinur lives by a river with her husband Khalek and 12-year-old son Rabiul, who both have disabilities. She relies on fishing in the river to support her family, but last year it dried up and all the fish died.

The fish have not returned. Some days the family just drink water for dinner. This is not right. God has given enough resources on this planet for everyone.

No one should go hungry.  So how how to inspire children to recognise need and to be motivated to help?

The idea is a simple one:  choose something, give it up and donate the money saved to CAFOD. Continue reading

CAFOD in a rapidly changing world

Geoff O’Donoghue, CAFOD’s Director of Operations, visited Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Mumbles to speak to supporters and parishioners about CAFOD’s work and new ambition “No One Beyond Reach.”

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Planning for Lent

With Lent starting next week, Ash Wednesday is 6 March, we’d like to invite volunteers in and around Cardiff to pop into our volunteer centre (North Chambers, Castle Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1BX) on Thursday 7 March between 11 am-12.30pm to hear more about this year’s Family Fast Day appeal.

Throughout Lent we will be sharing the experience of Mahinur who is struggling with the changing weather.  Mahinur lives in Bangladesh.  She makes a living from fishing but a drought last year killed all the fish in the river that she lives next to and now she’s struggling to support her disabled husband, Khalek and her twelve year old son, Rabiul.

The changing weather is devastating lives.  Drought, floods and storms are having a catastrophic impact effect on some of the poorest members of our global family.

Hardest hit are vulnerable groups such as women and people with disabilities.  Both groups often live in extreme poverty and are excluded from job opportunities.  People with disabilities also face stigma.  The lack of support and income makes it harder for vulnerable people to prepare for disasters and to recover after disaster strikes.

The most vulnerable and disaster-prone regions within Bangladesh are the south and south-west coastal areas.  Mahinur is from the Patuakhali District on the wouthern coast.

Last year, your donations were match funded by the UK government and the projects started in October 2018.

“New nutrition projects in Zimbabwe, Eritrea and Zambia have  begun.  We’re on track to reach 239,000 people by the end of 2021!”   Thank you!

This Lent your donations will help ensure that no-one is beyond the reach of the love and care they need to flourish.

Jamal, our local expert, grew up in the same region as Mahinur and is an expert in farming and fishing.  He has already helped a few families her village, teaching them new farming techniques and distributing seeds, ducks and chickens.  But sadly there hasn’t been enough money available yet to help Mahinur.  And it’s a very sad fact that  we are currently forced to turn away one in three requests for help, simply because there isn’t enough money to go around.

On Friday 15 March, can you eat a simple meal in solidarity and give what you save to help us reach out to more families in desperate need of help?

Your generosity is a lifeline for women, men and children all over the world.  Thank you so much!

5 ways you can get involved:

  1. In your parish. Pin up our eye-catching poster and use our short talk to introduce the parish to Mahimur. If you would like to have someone speak at Mass, please contact us.  Get the children involved too by using our children’s liturgy and illustration for the first Sunday of Lent.
  2. Have a pancake party! Flip poverty on its head this Shrove Tuesday by challenging friends and family to pancake flipping competition. How many can you flip in 2 minutes? If everyone donates £2 to take part, your pancakes will make a big difference to families with nothing to eat.
  3. Pledge to eat soup this Family Fast Day! Have a simple soup meal and give what you save. Even better, gather a crowd and organise a soup-er fundraiser. We’ll send you a poster, guide and recipes… yummy.   Here’s a recipe for a simple lentil soup.
  4. Prayer can move mountains. Our prayers of intercession can be used at church, with your prayer group, your family or on your own in quiet reflection. You can also order our prayer card from the CAFOD shop.
  5. Share our video of Mahinur on Facebook and social media. Together we can spread the message of love our global neighbours to thousands of people across England and Wales.

If you can’t make this meeting, but you want to pop into the office to know more, please  get in touch with us on 02920 344882 or email us.