We can all agree that CAFOD does a pretty amazing job, empowering individuals and communities in some of the most deprived areas of the world. Yet, none of this could be achieved without the crucial work of our volunteers. YOU are our backbone, helping us in many different ways to share our stories, give your voices and pray to fight poverty and injustice in our world where there is great need. CAFOD volunteers make a tremendous difference and are truly inspiring people!
One such volunteer is Pat Taylor, from the Parish of John Henry Newman in High Wycombe. She has been a Parish volunteer for almost 30 years and at the age of 84 is still going strong! We shared her remarkable story in a previous posting. On 13 April, her long-standing commitment to CAFOD – 25 years – was recognised and celebrated at a special Mass in the Parish.
The parish were very keen to support Pat and to show her how loved and appreciated she was. Attending this very joyful celebration was Pat’s family, who came from far and wide just for the occasion, as well as parishioners from nearby parishes who knew Pat and have been touched by her unceasing enthusiasm over the years.
Preparations started early with everyone bringing something to share and getting the place ready. The mass was a wonderful way of giving thanks for Pat’s work. We were blessed to have con-celebrating the mass Fr Evaristus Bassey, Director of Caritas Nigeria, who happened to be visiting the UK. Fr Evaristus gave a moving first-hand account of CAFOD’s practical and effective impact on the ground and urged all to “continue supporting this vital work which really empowers people”.
At the sharing after the mass, Debbie Purfiled (our diocesan CAFOD coordinator) gave a summary of Pat’s involvement with CAFOD and mentioned how Pat not only “talked the talk but walked the walk”. Debbie added, “Pat always did her best to make parishioners and students aware of the plight of those living in poverty and injustice. Putting her faith into action is that which has inspired and encouraged others these 25 years. On behalf of CAFOD and all those you have touched, thank you so so much.” To show CAFOD’s appreciation, Debbie presented Pat with a Papal Blessing.
Pat too was keen to thank everyone and share her experience of being a CAFOD volunteer and how she enjoyed it thoroughly.
It was wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves and Elizabeth Dinnage, one of the organisers together with Catri Plummer, said: “It was a very happy occasion, which Pat enjoyed very much.”
There was so much food left over as people were so generous in bringing food to share. Elizabeth came up with a very innovative idea, “You are very welcome to take the left overs home and a donation will be welcomed”. What did they received? Nearly £83 and with the UK government doubling all donations till 12 May, this event not only celebrated Pat’s wonderful work over the years but raised £165 for CAFOD’s work! Absolutely wonderful!!
Thank you to Pat, her family and all those who prepared and supported the event. It was a really great day!