CAFOD is a charity built upon the values and teachings of Catholic faith; volunteering with CAFOD can be an expression of faith, especially in the Year of Mercy. Elouise Hobbs reflects on these thoughts at the end of Volunteers Week.
During the Year of Mercy, I have been reflecting on the tireless work of our volunteers to change the lives of people who live in some of the poorest communities in the world. Our volunteers bridge the gap to help solve the poverty crisis’ by praying, acting and giving in so many different ways. Volunteers Week is a perfect time to say thank you and look at how the Jubilee of Mercy calls us to act.
In the Year of Mercy, the pope has called us to focus on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. By acting upon these teachings we can extend God’s compassion and mercy to those in need. I often come back to Pope Fracis’ call: “Faith cannot be just words or beliefs but must reach out to others, especially those in need.”
In Pope Francis’ Bull of Iniction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, he declared:
“It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It will be a way to reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty. […] This is the opportune moment to change our lives!” Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus
We are being called to change our lives and take action to solve poverty. Guided by the values of compassion, solidarity and hope, together we can put our faith into action to help our brothers and sisters living in extreme poverty to reach their full potential, regardless of religion or culture.
Through volunteering, we are able to work to fight against social injustice and poverty. Through writing prayers, speaking at mass, educating the young or inciting political action, the different types of volunteering work in conjunction and allows everybody to express their own unique gift, as described by Peter:
‘As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace’ (1 Peter 4:10)
The time that our volunteers offer us is a gift; the different roles they perform allow them to serve people, even if these people are unseen and far away. The work that we do in countries all over the world would not be possible without you, so thank you.
If you feel inspired to volunteer, you can read about all our different volunteers roles and look at the slideshow about all the work we do