Family 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.”
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.
Two weeks ago I popped in to visit our neighbours, the Poor Clare sisters. Catching up with each others news is always good! Their community is growing from 4 to 17 as another Convent in North Wales is closing and the community moving to Nottingham. So we remember them in our prayers as they face these new opportunities and challenges.
I updated them on the Share the Journey campaign and passed over some of the campaign cards. This morning after Mass, Sr Lily asked me to pop in again. ‘We did our walk on Saturday, the feast of St Clare, and I have some photos for you’.
They walked around their garden, joining in solidarity with the many, many Catholics in England & Wales who have now walked over 100 000 miles!
‘It was only a short walk, not much’, Sr Lily told me. I assured her that whatever the distance, their participation is wonderful!
I also heard today that the parish of Alfreton & Clay Cross are organising a walk on Saturday 15th September. So don’t worry if you hadn’t taken part yet. There is still plenty of time!
On Thursday 21st June you may have seen a school on the move! All the pupils and staff of English Martyrs’ Catholic Voluntary Academy walked in unity to raise awareness of the global refugee crisis.
Last September Pope Francis launched the Share the Journey campaign. He has declared this time a ‘unique opportunity’ for us to press our governments to make global commitments which place the human dignity of people on the move at their heart. CAFODs response was to invite Catholics in England and Wales to walk the 24,901 miles which is the distance around the world, not because they want us to keep fit but because it is important that all people are aware of the plight of refugees and migrants around the world.
We walked a circular route from our school passing our neighbouring schools on the way, it was a distance of 1.14 miles, when we multiplied that by the number of people who were walking (290) we have walked a total of 330 miles. We have added our total number of miles to the CAFOD totaliser and hope that we have done our bit to influence the decisions of World Leaders when they meet at The United Nations this September to develop new global agreements on refugees and migration.