Key January messages for CAFOD supporters
Dear Father,

Happy New Year, I hope you had a blessed Christmas despite the ongoing difficulties caused by the pandemic.

For your information, this is a copy of the first ebulletin that I sent out earlier this week to CAFOD supporters and volunteers.

2022 is the 60th anniversary of CAFOD.  CAFOD was started in 1960 by a very small team of volunteers from the Union of Catholic Mothers (UCM), the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) and the National Board of Catholic Women (NBCW) in 1960.

Two years later, the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales registered CAFOD as an official charity.

You are part of the legacy of this group of dedicated and visionary women.

Without all of you who give your time to pray and support CAFOD, it would be impossible to do our work. Thank you.  Thank you to all of you for making possible the life-changing work we have been part of over the last 60 years.

At the cornerstone of CAFOD’s foundation all those years ago was Lent Fast Day and on Saturday 5 February all our volunteers across the country will be coming together virtually to celebrate all that Fast Day collections have made possible over the years. Please do sign up for a morning of sharing stories and preparing ourselves for an inspiring Lent, which this year sees us joining together to Walk against Hunger.

 

I had booked The Cornerstone in Cardiff for Saturday 5 February. I haven’t cancelled yet, but waiting for the latest guidance from Welsh Government on Friday. The Cornerstone has assured me that 30 people can be accommodated, comfortably and properly socially distanced. Your safety is of paramount importance, so please watch this space, or give me a call.

 

Important dates coming up:

Saturday 5 February:  Book onto the Fast Day briefing

 

Sunday 6 March: Distribution of Fast Day envelopes and date for talks at Masses

Friday 11 March: Lent Family Fast Day find everything you need here

Sunday 13 March: CAFOD Fast Day collection date. Alternative day for talks.

Fast Day short talk in Polish.

 

Saturday 26 March: Community Walk Against Hunger – Speak to your parish priest about planning a parish walk (more details below).

Do see below for more news.

Wishing you every blessing for the year ahead,

Gan ddymuno pob bendith i chi am y flwyddyn i ddod,

Therese Warwick

Community Participation Coordinator – Cardiff, Menevia and Herefordshire

07823 445112 southwales@cafod.org.uk

Main photo: Amie and Lombeh, Sierra Leone.

 

Walk Against Hunger

This Lent, we would love parish communities to come together to take part in our Community Walk Against Hunger on Saturday 26 March, as part of the 40 day Walk Against Hunger sponsored walking challenge for individuals. Could you speak to your parish priest and friends in the parish soon about planning a sponsored parish walk to join parishes all over England and Wales? We hope parishioners and parish priests will value the opportunity to bring the community together safely. Sign up information here.

 

Family Fast Day this Lent

Over the last 60 years we have seen that our volunteers have a huge effect on Fast Day donations. By doing things like speaking at Mass, gathering others to help and, more recently, having a contactless device, you help Fast Day make a real impact in the world. Thank you for doing all you can to inspire your community. Huge thanks too for your prayers and support through these challenging times and for continuing to bring hope to others.

As you know this Fast Day we are sharing about Amie from Sierra Leone whose daughter, Lombeh, suffered from malnutrition as a baby and the nun, Sr Anthonia, whose clinic assisted them. Join us on 5 Feb to hear more from colleagues who work alongside Sr Anthonia. Your parish priest will receive his pack from 11 January and the envelopes by the end of January.

 

 

A Parish Bulletin Notice

We will be emailing parishes by the end of the month to ask if they would put a notice in the parish bulletin highlighting that CAFOD are looking for volunteers for various roles. We appreciate that many parishes are looking for their own volunteers but we hope that the adverts will highlight the needs of both and benefit the parish as well.

A simple way you can help protect human and environmental rights

Communities we work with around the world are experiencing inequalities and exploitation, and this is linked to the activities of some UK companies. We’re calling on the UK government to introduce a new Business, Human Rights and Environment Act to hold business to account when it fails to prevent human rights abuses and environmental harm. Please do add your voice to the call.

Afghanistan

If you were able to hold a parish collection for the Afghanistan Crisis Appeal in December, thank you.  Thank you for your commitment to standing alongside our sisters and brothers experiencing extreme hunger in Afghanistan. CAFOD joined the Disasters Emergency Committee Appeal in December, along with 15 other leading aid agencies.  Sadly many, many Afghan families are still in urgent need of humanitarian assistance: food, water and shelter. As winter approaches, the people of Afghanistan are facing extreme hunger and poverty. If your parish is able to arrange a collection, thank you.  Or, please can you place a notice in the parish newsletter or parish social media pages.  Thank you. More details here.

SYNOD 2021-2023– add your voice!

I think it would be remiss of me not to urge you all to take part in the synod process in your parish.  Pope Francis invites the entire Church to reflect on a theme that is decisive for its life and mission: “It is precisely this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium.”

This journey, which follows in the wake of the Church’s “renewal” proposed by the Second Vatican Council, is both a gift and a task: by journeying together and reflecting together on the journey that has been made, the Church will be able to learn through Her experience which processes can help Her to live communion, to achieve participation, to open Herself to mission.

Our “journeying together” is, in fact, what most effectively enacts and manifests the nature of the Church as the pilgrim and missionary People of God.

Please do take part.  It’s vital and hugely important. It’s a time for listening, reflection, discernment and honesty. If your parish has yet to get started, or attend any training, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Click on the links below for two documents to help.

The Vademecum is designed as a handbook that accompanies the Preparatory Document at the service of the synodal journey. The two documents are complementary and should be read in tandem with one another.

“Pope Francis seems to suggest that the purpose of a synod is to be Catholic, in the company of other Catholics: to pray together, to talk about the faith together, to understand one another better, and to experience that the Church is called to be a real, personal and authentic communion of its baptized members.

For bishops, the local synod process is an opportunity to learn from local Catholics what their own pastoral priorities should be — not by asking other people to set the bishop’s agenda, but by hearing what matters to Catholics, and how they think, and then using that information to develop plans for evangelization, catechesis and pastoral care.

“Hearing from Catholics” is not a lofty goal, but it is an important and an attainable one.”

We pray for the Church, gathered in Synod; that by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit this journey would be marked by humble listening, courageous speech, and lively hope. Amen.

 
 
Lord,

As we enter our new year we pray that children throughout the world,

especially those in Afghanistan and Yemen who are suffering unbearable hardship,

will be helped by those of us who have excess giving generously to those who have nothing.

We pray also that the issues giving rise to those hardships will be resolved through peaceful negotiation. Amen.

Trevor Stockton, CAFOD volunteer