Caritas Calling! January / February 2021

A Monthly Bulletin for our local parishes, charities and Catholic Agencies

1. Staying Together While Apart – digital skills training sessions

Virtual Volunteers – 19th January 2021

  1. Archbishop’s Food Voucher Christmas Appeal
  2. Domestic abuse over the holiday period
  3. New Chief Executive for CSAN
  4. The God Who Speaks: Timeline January and February 2021

St Mark’s Gospel Day-by-Day

Mark’s Gospel re-told in British Sign Language

  1. The Pope’s Prayer intentions:

January – Prayer Intention for evangelization – Human fraternity

February – Universal intention ‐ Violence against women

  1. The Cycle of Prayer
  2. UN declares 4 February ‘International Day of Human Fraternity’
  3. Vatican launches website dedicated to “Fratelli tutti” encyclical
  4. Pope Francis proclaims “Year of St Joseph”
  5. Caritas Development

1. Staying Together While Apart – digital skills training sessions –

The ‘Staying Together While Apart’ project has been developed to assist people during the COVID-19 pandemic and its immediate aftermath. The project focuses on mobilising volunteers to help older and vulnerable adults, and those with underlying health conditions, which put them at risk of serious illness as a result of COVID-19. Making Contact. The project works to improve the mental health and wellbeing of older and vulnerable adults by reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. Providing the skills and knowledge to keep in touch is important and three sessions have been scheduled to support people to get connected. These sessions are free and open to all. The third session will be:

Virtual Volunteers – 19th January 2021 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Become a Virtual Volunteer supporting the most vulnerable in society with simple online tasks that can make the world of difference and brighten their day. There are many members of the Welsh public who own digital devices but require support or guidance in how to make the most of being online. Before lockdowns and restricted travel, a family member or friend may have offered these individuals one-to-one support. Unfortunately, not everyone has this support network around them, and for those that have, access to support has been made even more difficult due to the Social Distancing and Lockdown procedures. RCADC in conjunction with Digital Communities Wales are offering training to those who may be interested in Virtual Volunteering to support individuals on their digital journey. We are not expecting volunteers to access client’s personal information, but to support individuals with getting the best out of being online. Whether that is through apps to keep in touch or options for accessing entertainment media, your support can make a world of difference to someone’s day.

Details and registration:

For all learning and support opportunities:

  1. Archbishop’s Food Voucher Christmas Appeal 

Money raised through the Archbishop’s Food Voucher Christmas Appeal will help us respond to hunger in our communities. This appeal will fund a special supermarket food voucher scheme to be delivered in schools and parishes across the Archdiocese. Your gift will be used where the need is greatest ensuring that the Church is better able to support people as we come through the COVID-19 crisis together.  Your generosity could help provide food for hungry families and ensure that no one feels forgotten or alone at this worrying time. Your donations can alleviate stresses and provide a sense of hope this Christmas.

To donate:

3. Domestic abuse over the holiday period

CSAN News – December 2020

Sadly Christmas is a particularly dangerous time for people living with an abusive partner.  Domestic abuse tends to escalate over the festive period, even in “normal” years.  This year, with perpetrators enabled by Covid-19 lockdowns, there has been an increase in coercive control, violence, and tragically, murders, at the hands of domestic abuse perpetrators. For anyone afraid of a partner or family member the following helplines will be working over the Christmas season:

National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 or webchat

Live Fear Free Helpline (Wales) 0808 80 10 800

Men’s Advice Line (for male victims) 0808 8010 327

If you think you might be hurting your partner, help is available from Respect Phone line: 0808 802 4040

In an emergency, call 999 (dial 55 if it is unsafe to speak)

Parishes can help by sharing this information on newsletters and websites, and offering their parish office as a place where victims/survivors can safely use the phone and internet to seek help.  Sharing this information could help to save a life this Christmas.

4. New Chief Executive for CSAN

CSAN News – December 2020

Caritas Social Action Network is pleased to announce the appointment of Raymond Friel as Chief Executive Officer to succeed Dr Phil McCarthy who will retire from the role at the end of March 2021 after over five years. Raymond Friel was born in Scotland and, after graduating from Glasgow University, has spent most of his professional life in England. He started teaching in London in 1990 and was a head teacher in Catholic secondary schools from 2002 until 2016. He was then General Secretary of the Catholic Independent Schools Conference for two years before becoming CEO of Plymouth CAST, a multi-academy trust of 36 Catholic schools until 2020. He is a published poet and the author of several influential books on Catholic education, including How to Survive in Leadership in a Catholic School.

Raymond Friel commented:

I am delighted to be taking up this new challenge. I look forward to contributing to this important part of our Church’s mission, which will be even more vital as our country recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

  1. The God Who Speaks – Timeline January and February 2021:

The God Who Speaks initiative will run to the Sunday of the Word in January 2022. In the Archdiocese of Cardiff, Kate Duffin and Madeleine Walters, promote The God Who Speaks initiative and, for Newsletters, contact Madeleine at

Fr. Jerome Ituah OCD is the contact in the Diocese of Menevia:

St Mark’s Gospel Day-by-Day

Throughout 2021 the Bishops of England and Wales invite you to join them in reading St Mark’s Gospel, just a few verses each day. The God Who Speaks  A Message from Bishop Peter Brignall:

Thank you for responding to the invitation and challenge to read the whole of the Gospel according to St Mark at least once through the course of 2021. On a number of occasions early in his pontificate Pope Francis has asked the crowds in St Peter’s Square, ‘Have you read part of the gospel today?’ or ‘Do you carry a gospel with you to be able to read some verses each day?’ The Holy Father commends reading part of the Gospel every day so that we can listen to Jesus at all times.

Throughout 2020, the Bishops of England and Wales invited you to join them in reading St Matthew’s Gospel, just a few verses each day. In 2021, we turn to the Gospel of St Mark. If you are able to share that reading aloud with your family all the better, perhaps taking turns with the verses for the day.

In his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) the Holy Father says the Lord does not disappoint those who take the risk of letting Him encounter them each day; ‘no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord’. (EG.3)

‘Mary, Virgin and Mother, … obtain for us a new ardour born of the resurrection, that we may bring to all the Gospel of life which triumphs over death.’ (EG.288)

May the words of the gospel bring you and your families renewed faith, hope and joy.

Bishop Peter Brignall

Mark’s Gospel re-told in British Sign Language

We’re excited to share our series of signed videos produced in collaboration with Caritas Deaf Service.

In this series, key events from Mark’s Gospel have been re-told in British Sign Language. You can find out more here: The God Who Speaks

  1. The Pope’s Prayer intentions: [Visit: each month]

January – Prayer Intention for evangelization – Human fraternity

“May the Lord give us the grace to live in full fellowship with our brothers and sisters of other religions, praying for one another, open to all.”

February – Universal intention ‐ Violence against women

“We pray for women who are victims of violence, that they may be protected by society and have

their sufferings considered and heeded.”

  1. The Cycle of Prayer:

Cycle of Prayer | Advent-Christmas (

During Advent and Christmastide: – we are asked to pray for Migrants and Refugees; Expectant Mothers.

Cycle of Prayer | Ordinary Time: Winter (

During Ordinary Time (Winter), i.e. up to Lent: – we are asked to pray for these intentions:

Peace on Earth; Openness to the Word of God; Christian Unity; The Sick and Those Who Care for Them; Victims of Trafficking and Those who Work to Combat it; The Unemployed.

In January

Peace Day Sunday 17 January [2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time]

Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity 18–25 January

Sunday of the Word of God Sunday 24 January [3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time]

Racial Justice Day Sunday 31 January [3 Sundays before 1st Sunday of Lent]

In February

Day for Victims of Trafficking Monday 8 February [St Josephine Bakhita]

World Day for the Sick Thursday 11 February

Day for the Unemployed Sunday 14 February [Sunday before 1st Sunday of Lent]

Cycle of Prayer | Lent (

During Lent: – we are asked to pray for these intentions:

Candidates for the Sacraments; Women; The Needy and Hungry of the World; Penitents and Wanderers.

In February

Candidates for the Sacraments especially on the Sundays of Lent

Lent Fast Day Friday 26 February [Friday 1st week of Lent]

  1. UN declares 4 February ‘International Day of Human Fraternity’

The UN General Assembly adopts a resolution declaring 4 February as the International Day of Human Fraternity. It comes as the result of Christian-Muslim cooperation to promote peace, harmony and intercultural dialogue in the world. UN declares 4 February ‘International Day of Human Fraternity’ – Vatican News Vatican News staff writer 24 December 2020

Fratelli tutti, the recent encyclical of Pope Francis on fraternity and social friendship, as well as the “Document on Human Fraternity”, signed by him and the grand imam of Al Azhar last year, have found a strong echo in the halls and corridors of the United Nations.

The UN General Assembly on 21 December adopted a resolution declaring 4 February as the International Day of Human Fraternity. The day is to be observed each year, beginning in 2021.

  1. Vatican launches website dedicated to “Fratelli tutti” encyclical

The Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announces a new, intuitive website dedicated to Pope Francis’ encyclical “Fratelli tutti”. By Vatican News staff writer 01 December 2020

Beginning Tuesday, Pope Francis’ recent Encyclical Fratelli tutti, on Fraternity and Social Friendshipwill be more readily accessible by the faithful. The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announces a special website dedicated to the Encyclical which can be accessed either from the homepage of the Dicastery or directly from the URL

The site, created in collaboration with the Dicastery for Communication, aims to “spread the message about the fraternity and social friendship of the Encyclical in a capillary way, deepening and making known all the aspects proper to the text and the magisterium of the Holy Father in this sense,” the Dicastery said in a statement on Monday.

‘Easy to consult’ features

The intuitive and easily consultable page is currently developed in three languages: English, Spanish and Italian. It contains numerous resources in other languages, including French, Portuguese, Arabic and Chinese.

The constantly updated menu on the homepage is divided into sections and is in orange, resembling the paper edition of the Encyclical.

The first, “Fratelli tutti,” contains a general introduction. The second, “The Encyclical,” gives people the possibility of downloading the text of the Encyclical in the available languages, and to review the 4 October video conference held in the New Hall of the Synod in the Vatican. The third section, “Reflections,” includes comments and analyses from the Superiors of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, representatives of local Churches, international organizations and other networks, experts and actors. The fourth – “News”, contains articles, videos, and interviews related to Fratelli tutti. “Resources” gathers infographics and other materials for in-depth study and reflection such as the “Prayer to the Creator” composed for the Encyclical.

The page also contains a link to the Twitter social media platform for direct sharing of the sections of interest.

What’s more, the website has a “window” in its “News” section that serves as a direct link to the latest “Vatican News” articles on the Encyclical.

Looking ahead

Work is still ongoing in earnest to expand the languages in which content will be available.

There are also plans for a section that collects the Encyclical’s infographics and presentation videos, already visible on the Dicastery’s YouTube Channel on the “Fratelli tutti” playlist.

In addition, a space called “initiatives” is being created with the materials and contributions from local Churches, organizations, networks and communities (religious and non-religious), aimed at implementing the message contained in Fratelli tutti.

  1. Pope Francis proclaims “Year of St Joseph”

With the Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father has proclaimed a “Year of Saint Joseph” from today, 8 December 2020, to 8 December 2021.

By Vatican News 08 December 2020 Pope Francis proclaims “Year of St Joseph” – Vatican News

In a new Apostolic Letter entitled Patris corde (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis describes Saint Joseph as a beloved father, a tender and loving father, an obedient father, an accepting father; a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows.

The Letter marks the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaration of the St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To celebrate the anniversary, Pope Francis has proclaimed a special “Year of St Joseph,” beginning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2020 and extending to the same feast in 2021. (See also: Pope Francis reflects on Holy Family at Sunday Angelus – Vatican News)
11. Caritas Development

Caritas is a social pastoral instrument of the Catholic Church entrusted with the mission of promoting integral human development in the light of the Gospel and Catholic teachings.

Strategic Orientation 1, Caritas at the heart of the Church – Serve out of love.

Objective 1.2 We actively collaborate to enhance communion and organisation between all actors and sectors of the Church to promote its social and developmental engagement.

Outcome 1.2 Caritas cooperates, coordinates, and promotes harmony among the structures of the Church in the fulfilment of all the dimensions of its mission (proclamation, celebration, service of Charity), especially at the diocesan and parish levels.

For details of how to participate in the development of this service in your parish or school, please contact:

Jim Barnaville, Coordinator, Caritas Archdiocese of Cardiff. Email: