Preparing for Harvest Fast Day in North East Lincs

Last Friday morning I left home nice and early to travel north and then east to visit the furthest outreach of the Diocese, North East Lincolnshire!  There was a very warm welcome from St Mary’s Primary school in Grimsby.

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St Mary’s School, Grimsby

Lovely displays of artwork and written work around the school. And thanks to some of the chaplaincy team for getting in the photo! The CAFOD BrightenUp Assembly was made even brighter by the children of Lisieux House who were all dressed in yellow! It was lovely to share in the news of the recent fantastic achievements of the basketball and tag rugby teams who performed brilliantly in local tournaments. Harvest Fast Day will be celebrated next Friday 5 October which will include donations of food for the local food bank. Since the current Year 6 have started the school has donated nearly £4000 to CAFOD with most of their fundraising done during Lent so some of it will have been doubled due to UKAid match funding. Well done everyone. It was lovely to visit you all. If any parents/grandparents are interested in supporting your school putting their Faith in Action, join us as a school volunteer. You won’t regret it!!

Become a CAFOD School Volunteer

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Wearing my Brighten Up shoes while soaking in the sun

After an opportunity to soak up some sun on Cleethorpes Prom I then visited St Joseph’s School in Cleethorpes. Again I led the CAFOD BrightenUp assembly for Harvest Fast Day. I had met the head Mrs Pollard and some other staff and students when we took part in the Humber Bridge Cross in May. So it was great to meet up again. The children are also combining Fast Day with supporting the local food bank as well as fundraising for CAFOD. What great mission in caring for their local and global neighbours! It was also a very full Good Work Assembly with lots of awards and trophies being given out for attendance, writing and personal achievements. A very expressive and detailed report from the young girl who got a swimming certificate! Great singing, a stunning window, lovely displays of work and a very inviting library! Thank you all at St Joseph’s and I look forward to seeing your Harvest Fast Day photos from your assembly and fundraising tomorrow!

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St Joseph’s School, Cleethorpes

Again, an invitation to consider becoming a CAFOD school volunteer! A great opportunity to support your school putting their Faith into Action!

Donate to Harvest Family Fast Day

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!