Almost two hundred CAFOD supporters from across the Diocese, attended a concelebrated mass at Northampton Cathedral on Saturday 16th June to mark CAFOD’s 50th anniversary. Bishop Peter was the principal celebrant, supported by Fr. Frank Calnan, Fr. Damien Walne, Fr Benny Joseph and Fr Peter Ha.
The service began with the presentation of a number of gifts to symbolise the work of CAFOD.
Catriona Sharp, Parish Contact at Christ the King in Bedford brought up an icon of Mary of the Magnificat; Mother of the Poor, commissioned for CAFOD in 2000 and symbolising love for the poor.
Tessa and Nicky Wiseman, Campaigners from Sacred Heart Parish, Leighton Buzzard brought up a Romero crucifix from El Salvador symbolising the hope of a better and more peaceful world, free from poverty and injustice.
Tony Burton from Daventry, who volunteers in the CAFOD Office, presented a paddle representing CAFOD’s work in disaster prone areas, and Alban Macdonald part of the CAFOD Schools Team and from St Peter’s, Biggleswade carried our Book of Remembrance contained the names of deceased CAFOD supporters.
The uplifting and musical liturgy which was prepared by Jane Porter and Teresa Brown involved readers and singers from our parishes and schools: Peter Van Cauwelaert who speaks for CAFOD in our parishes and is from St Bernadine’s in Buckingham; Francesca Carroll from Cardinal Newman School, Luton; Deacon David Smith from St Augustine’s, Daventry and Margaret Wellington, a member of the CAFOD Schools Team from High Wycombe.
Our singing was enhanced by a choir made up of musicians and singers from a dozen parishes, who provided a beautiful harmonic accompaniment to the congregational singing. We were also lifted by the Northampton Shona choir, who sang during communion and continued singing after mass. We all remarked on the wonderful music and many of the choir have indicated that they would love to come together again for a similar occasion in the diocese.
Bishop Peter delivered the homily, and Tom O Connor, CAFOD Director for Communities and Supporters spoke about the three areas of CAFOD’s work – response to emergencies, development and sustainability and addressing the causes of injustice.
The offertory gifts were brought up by Aideen Fogarty from the Northampton Christian J&P Group, Mary Bull a parish contact from St Edmund Campion – Blessed John Henry Newman Parish, High Wycombe and Sr Norah Doyle, CAFOD Coordinator for Slough, from Holy Redeemer Parish.
Our prayers were led by: Anne Hoskins, Parish Contact at St Alban’s, Winslow and School Chaplain at St Paul’s, Milton Keynes; Ron Cockayne, Parish Contact at St Bernadine’s, Buckingham and a CAFOD Schools Volunteer and Helen Jobe, Parish Contact at St John Ogilvie, Corby.
There was an exhibition in the cathedral featuring stories and quotes from our history – some of which are in our celebration book: 50 years: 50 voices.