Alistair Burt MP “Shares the Journey” with CAFOD volunteers

CAFOD, Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) have worked together to stage the exhibition, which opened on 5 December at the Palace of Westminster.  The exhibition demonstrates the work of the Catholic community and the three agencies in supporting refugees, both at home and overseas.Alban MacdonaId, an MP correspondent who was present at the exhibition writes:

Alistair Burt (MP) and Alban Macdonald at the Share the Journey exhibition in Westminster Palace

“I was honoured that my MP Alistair Burt, ( also Minister of Sate for International Development) should take time out of his busy Ministerial scheduled to meet me in Parliament and visit the CAFOD Share the Journey display.

Alistair Burt MP looking at messages of hope and welcome

The displays articulate the Roman Catholic response to the Refugee Crisis at home and across the world and how we are offering messages of hope and support to displaced people. I felt Alistair is really grounded and switched on to the Refugee issues and seemed impressed with our response too.  I hope to follow up this meeting by writing to Alistair and asking him to take specific actions to help further this cause.

Alban hands over the Power to Be petition cards to Alistair Burt MP

I also took the opportunity to outline briefly CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign which seeks to influence the World Bank to increase the amount of funding investment for small rural power sustainable energy. These rural areas are where the poorest people of the world live and so the benefits of having safe and renewable electricity can have the greatest impact there.  This will give these people a “jump start” out of the poverty trap.

> Sign CAFOD’s petition to the World Bank

Alban shares with Alistair Burt MP

I explained that I had recently spoken in my parish of St Peter’s Church in Biggleswade, – where Alistair’s regional office is located – and the people from the parish overwhelmingly supported this campaign; most of whom are Alistair’s constituents.  I was delighted that Alistair offered to take one letter (from over 160 letters I had with me) from one his constituents Mrs Catherine Spencer, addressed to Melanie Robinson (UK’s Executive Director to the World Bank).  Alistair promised to give it to her personally and ask her to respond to him as to why the World Bank should not adopt CAFOD’s proposals in this campaign.”

Thank you Alban and we look forward to hearing feedback back from you and await with baited breath to hear Alistair’ response from the World Bank.

Memorial Mass at St Francis of Assisi – Shefford 2017

CAFOD Memorial mass 2017 celebrated at St Francis of Assisi – Shefford

CAFOD is immensely blessed by the generosity and dedication of our volunteers and supporters.  Many of these wonderful people have passed away over the years. Our Memorial Masses are one way we like to pay tribute to them and mark our appreciation for their years of support and kindness.

We often speak to families who have chosen to support our work in memory of a relative or a friend.  By making such a special gift, families, neighbours, colleagues or pupils feel they are remembering their loved one in a positive, far-reaching and life-changing way.

>>  See our Remembrance Giving page for more information.

Jenny Hyde, Eileen Devereux , Anne Tasker and Margaret Rees – memorial mass organisers

Fr Bennie with Eileen Devereux (UCM)

Northampton Diocese celebrated our 2017 memorial mass at St Francis of Assisi – Shefford on the 26 November.  Parish priest, Fr Bennie Noonan was delighted to say the mass and with the support of Parish volunteer Jenny Hyde and the Union of Catholic Mother (UCM) the celebration went off so well.

Northampton Diocese Book of Remembrance

The names of deceased supporters and volunteers are collected each year in our Book of Remembrance and this was taken up by Alban Macdonald, parish volunteer at St Peter’s Biggleswade.  This showed how we are all one family working together for a common goal.. to eradicate poverty and injustice in our world! 

Alban noted, “Fr Bennie spoke passionately about CAFOD’s work and remembered all the dearly beloved who supported CAFOD’s work in their life.  He explained how Bishop Hugh Grant (from our diocese) was instrumental in getting CAFOD/Caritas off the ground in the UK and in Rome.”

After the mass, the UCM organised a scrumptious coffe/tea and cake session in the parish meeting room which everyone who attended enjoyed immensely!

Refreshments enjoyed by our children too!

Refreshments after Memorial mass

Jenny very thoughtfully brought a photo of a framed Obituary of Elspeth Orchard.  Elspeth was one of the original UCM members (UCM diocesan president) who helped formed the group that eventually became CAFOD.   Jenny said, “I found a picture of Elsbeth Orchard so shared some happy stories about that.  It was a very friendly affair.”

>> Find out more about how about how CAFOD began here

All hear about Elspeth Orchard, one of the founding CAFOD members

A massive thank you to Jenny Hyde and the UCM as well as to Fr Bennie for celebrating our CAFOD memorial mass 2017 at St Francis.  Supporters and Volunteers who could not attend were with you in spirit.

Amazing Harvest Hunger Lunch at Holy Family & St John Luton

As part of Harvest Fast day, the parish of Holy Family and St John the Apostle Luton held a Harvest Hunger Lunch in October 2017 and as always had great support.  over 75 people turned up to support the event.  What a brilliant turn out!

Holy Family & St John -Luton hold a Harvest Hunger lunch for CAFOD

The parish raised over £500 for CAFOD’s work which is just fantastic!  Thank you to all who organised it and to those who supported the event.

>>  Looking here for more great fundraising ideas