CAFOD Harvest Family Fast Day Friday October 5 2018

family fast day soupFamily Fast Day is on Friday 5 October and we offer an invitation to eat simply – perhaps by giving up a meal, or just having a bowl of soup – and make a donation to CAFOD? It could save someone’s life.

Every life around the world is precious, but I’d like to tell you about a mother in East Africa. Longora lives in Uganda – 14 hours from the capital – in a remote village that has no electricity, no gas and no hospital nearby.

The area is so hot and dry, people struggle to get enough clean water to survive. A few years ago, when Longora was in the late stages of pregnancy, she became seriously ill after drinking dirty water from a local river. She gave birth while she was still sick. Because of the water, her baby was also born seriously ill.  She said: “Ten people died from drinking river water then. My baby died too.” Africa-Kenya-Longora-Atido-and-family_opt_fullstory_small

No one can bring Longora’s baby back. Hearing from her, it is clear the loss stays with her. It was obvious her community needed clean water and – thanks to donations from people like you – CAFOD repaired the well in her village and trained local people in how to maintain it, so they can fix it if it breaks again. Now Longora and her neighbours have a reliable supply of clean, safe water.

So please support CAFOD this Harvest Family Fast Day and help change lives.

 

Meeting Parish Volunteers in Clay Cross

Another lovely day for a drive to the northern border of our Diocese where it connects with Hallam.  I was travelling to meet the CAFOD parish volunteers for Alfreton and Clay Cross.  We were meeting for the first time and where better than St Patrick & St Bridget’s in Clay Cross for 10am Mass.  I arrived early so joined in saying the Rosary.  Close to 30 people were in the congregation so when Fr James Earley arrived to say Mass I asked if I could say a few words at the end and he kindly agreed.

Clay Cross

Two verses of ‘For all the saints’ prepared us for celebrating the feast of St Mark and after the welcome, Fr James invited us to sing again, this time to Harold, who was celebrating his 90th Birthday!  Sadly, his wife Betty is unwell and in a care home; so please remember them both in your prayers today.

After communion I was able to say a few words; thanking Fr James for giving me the opportunity to thank him and the parish for their continued and sustained support of CAFOD over many years.  I also reminded people of the story of CAFOD; our founding mothers and how the generosity of the Catholic community in England in Wales led to the creation of the church’s official aid agency in 1962.

After Mass we departed to Eileen’s house for coffee and biscuits and I asked them how they had come to be parish volunteers for CAFOD.  “It was thrust upon me” stated Eileen, “but the community here in Clay Cross are very generous and supportive.  I also get the opportunity to speak at Mass.”  Eileen also told me about introducing the idea of giving money to CAFOD instead of buying cards at Christmas and this has been going on for many years.  For Gloria and Francis, who go to Christ the King in Alfreton, they volunteered about 18 months ago and like Eileen they staple Fast Day envelopes to the newsletter, which are then given out by the welcomers.  Gloria told me “it was me who volunteered but my health hasn’t been very good so my husband Francis helps as well.  He and Peter also speak at Mass.”

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Eileen, Gloria, Francis and Peter

We then talked about our latest campaign, Share the Journey, and how the parish would be able to take part.  Eileen told me the Franciscan Convent, St Clare’s, is the starting point for Stations of the Cross, and approximately a mile away, so perhaps a walk to Mass can be planned from there.  I look forward to hearing about their plans.

UK_aid_logoIt was a real joy to meet and have the opportunity to get to know Eileen, Gloria, Francis and Peter.  Their commitment and dedication not only to CAFOD but to their parish community shone through.  And this Family Fast Day the parish donated an amazing £821.26, which will of course be doubled by UK Government!

All Quiet at Holy Trinity School in Newark

It’s great keeping up with our Catholic Schools through Twitter!  Wonderful photos and activities being shared so we can celebrate and say thank you for all their hard work this Lent.  Especially as all donations, up to the £5million will be doubled, yes doubled, by UK government!!

And then a strange photo appears………..  What’s this?   What’s going on here? holy trinity offline

And then the explanation………….

“You might have noticed things were a little quiet yesterday! This was because Holy Trinity went ‘paper and technology free’ for the day to raise money for @CAFOD during the season of Lent!

We had a great day! Lots of different creative activities going on around the school and making the most of our wonderful outside space as well!”

Well done Holy Trinity, so creative and as well as raising money for CAFOD, raising awareness of the many school children who don’t have access to electricity.