Journey to Justice: A CAFOD retreat

In November 2017, CAFOD ran twelve day retreats for volunteers across England and Wales. Maggie Mairura from CAFOD Nottingham asked two campaigners – Rose and Veronica – to share what the day meant to them.

Bamford scenes

The Hope Valley

The simplicity of the Quaker Retreat house and the stunning scenery provided a wonderful setting for our day.

Volunteers from Birmingham, Hallam and Nottingham Dioceses came together to reflect on the life of Blessed Oscar Romero, hear about our partners overseas who work to defend human rights and to share the stories of our faith journeys.

Become a CAFOD campaigns volunteer in your parish

Rose – Hallam  “I came to the Romero retreat wounded and in pain over the goings on in my home country Malta. A journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia had been killed in a car bomb after writing blogs exposing corruption in the country.  The retreat provided me with an opportunity to start to heal my grief by reflecting on other courageous people, throughout the world, who are also involved in the pursuit of justice at great personal cost.

bamford

Time to reflect on the life of Blessed Oscar Romero

“Reflecting on how Romero himself was moved to act following the murder of one of his Jesuit friends, gave me the courage to think we can all be braver once we allow ourselves to be instruments of change. The venue was excellent and it was lovely to meet other CAFOD supporters and share encounters with them.”

Become a CAFOD campaigns volunteer in your parish

Veronica – Nottingham   “I found the retreat day at the Quaker Community House in Bamford very wholesome  for body and for soul. The food was tasty and the spiritual guidance first-class.

Bamford lunch

Time to nourish the body and soul!

“The day was the antithesis given by the image of a church like a room with the door held tightly shut –  within a dank unhealthy atmosphere of stultifying decay (an image I have over- embroidered perhaps from the one given by Pope Francis).

“I was taken by the reason for choosing the venue: on the boundary between Nottingham and Hallam dioceses. Many parishes have been part of a process of reorganisation which has led to a change in mass timetables, parish priests saying mass in more than one parish and parishioners attending other churches.

“When asked how these changes going one person explained that it was going splendidly: it was like a breath of fresh air. I thought that was like the retreat day: an opportunity to meet and share ideas.

“The encounters I experienced during the day were challenging and thought-provoking. They helped me to think about the people in my life and the challenging experiences that have been a significant part in my faith formation.

Bamford reflections

Time to share our journey of faith

“The day gave me the time to reflect and to wonder at the great good fortune I have to encounter God’s own people on this earth and to remember the responsibility laid upon me: to love my neighbour as myself.

“Meeting at the boundary is an opportunity to grow in faith.”

 

 

Volunteering for CAFOD: one charity, many opportunities

There are so many ways to get involved with CAFOD – from volunteering on your Gap Year, to speaking at Mass; from working in our offices, to starting your own parish group. Whatever your interests, whatever your talents, whatever your time: volunteer with CAFOD and you’ll truly be joining the dream team!

10 year-old Florence, from Sheffield, is CAFOD’s youngest parish volunteer. She describes how working as a parish volunteer has given her a new lease of life:

Florence

“I thought being a parish volunteer was an awesome idea. I really wanted to help people who didn’t have what I have. The older people in the CAFOD parish group were so pleased that I wanted to join as not many children take interest in this sort of thing. They let me speak at my parish twice about the CAFOD Lenten appeal this month as I thought the parish would listen to someone younger like me. It is totally different to what most of my friends do at the weekend and is a great chance for me to help those in poverty.”

Read more about becoming a parish volunteer

Danielle Story from Culleroats, 21, is a volunteer on CAFOD’s gap year programme,Step into The Gap, with the Youth Ministry Trust in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle:

Danielle Story

“It wasn’t until my final year studying at Newcastle University that I thought about doing a gap year.  I wanted my gap year to be rooted in faith, so CAFOD along with other Christian charities came to mind and I began searching. It was then I found out that CAFOD offer a gap year programme, and when I realised one of the placements they offer is at the Youth Ministry Trust I knew I was meant to do it. ”

Be a part of Step into the Gap on your gap year

Liam Finn worked as a Communications volunteer for CAFOD in Middlesbrough and is now CAFOD’s UK News Officer. He talks about how the opportunities gained as a volunteer led him to a start working with CAFOD full-time:

Liam

“I’d been a CAFOD supporter since I was in primary school, so it was great to be directly involved in our work. I decided a few years ago that I wanted to work in the media as I believe that providing information and telling stories is the best way I can help to bring about change in the world. This is why I’ll gladly admit that a big motivation for volunteering was so that I could gain that experience.”

Read more about Liam’s story here

Jo Woodhead first became a school volunteer with CAFOD after retiring from a teaching position in Leeds four years ago:

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“I noticed that CAFOD were advertising for volunteers at the back of my church bulletin. As I had recently retired from teaching and had some spare time, I thought “Hmm, I could do that.” And I was right! From teaching, I learnt that with school children, you always need to expect the unexpected. That excitement is what motivated me to volunteer and what keeps me going every year.”

Ready to join the volunteer team?  Sign up today!

CAFOD Nottingham at the People’s March

CAFOD supporters and staff from Nottingham Diocese attended the People’s March on Sunday 29/11/15.  Maggie helped out with stewarding at the Multifaith service at Westminster Synagogue and then walked with over 200 attendees of all faiths to join the main body of the march on Park Lane.  Louise and her daughter Angela travelled down by bus with a group of CAFOD supporters and helped giving out placards at the meeting point on Park Lane.  An amazing turnout and a strong CAFOD presence.  Maggie took the opportunity to meet and talk to as many people as possible who were carrying a CAFOD placard!  Among them CAFOD staff and supporters from other Diocese and Romero House and Hannah – CAFOD ambassador at the Briars.  Check out CAFOD website for more information, reports and photographs