Share the Journey: the Pope’s call to walk in solidarity with migrants and refugees

Last September, Pope Francis launched the “Share the Journey” Campaign. This initiative responds to the Pope call to promote a culture of  encounter with migrants and refugees.  The Church, through Caritas Internationalis, is responding to one of the greatest challenges of our times.  The migration crisis is above all a crisis of global solidarity, the Pope has reminded us, urging Christians and non-Christians to welcome refugees into their communities and promote their integral human development, thus humanising the phenomenon of migration.

Bishop Peter has given his full support to the campaign in the Northampton Diocese.

Bishop Peter Doyle supporting Share the Journey campaign

Share the Journey is therefore an appeal to open our hearts and minds, and change perceptions through personal encounters that open our eyes to the stories of people who, like you and me, hope and dream and strive for a better future.

David Songa – fled his home in South Sudan in mid-2016. Seen here in the vegetable patch outside his new home in Bidi Bidi refugee camp.

Mohammed – Syria to Lebanon

So, how can you get involved in the campaign?  Here are some examples:

Bishop Peter signing a Share the Journey petition to the PM

Many in our diocese have already started walking in solidarity.  Help us walk 24.900 miles – distance around the world, and send a powerful message to world leaders that they too need to step up and protect the rights of people on the move

St Teresa – Princes Risborough

Walking across Central Beds.

Are you ready to Share the Journey?

 

 

 

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.

The Lampedusa cross at St Mary’s – Dunstable

Schools across the diocese continue to reflect upon the plight of refugees around the world.  The Lampedusa Cross (which CAFOD obtained and gave every Cathedral in England and Wales to display) is a wonderful symbol of solidarity and hope with refugees. The crosses are the work of a local carpenter, who moved by the many stories of death and loss made them out of the wreckage of the boats and gave them to the refugees as a symbol of hope.

Find out more about the Refugee Crisis and how CAFOD is responding >>

The Northampton Diocese Lampedusa Cross

 

In our diocese, the cross is journeying through schools and parishes. The latest school to welcome the cross was St Mary’s – Dunstable.

Last week,  the children from the Liturgy and First Holy Communion groups presented the cross at the beginning of Mass.  They then reflected upon the symbolism of the cross as the gateway to freedom and the openness of the Lampedeusa people towards refugees. The children also wrote their messages of hope, which are displayed on a poster.

 

Isabella read the story of the cross to the congregation. It was very moving.

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Isabelle explains the story of the Lampedusa Cross

The children  also sang this song, especially composed for the occasion:

Lampedousa (clap clap clap) x2
Makes crosses out of wood
Crosses from the shipwreck
To try and bring some good (clap clap clap)
For all those who perished
Beneath the fearsome waves
Crosses in their memory
And crosses for the saved
Lampedusa (clap clap clap) x2
What an amazing place
Showing us how we can
Grow stronger in our faith (clap clap clap)
(Shout) FAITH and raise arms high

After Mass, Isabella took the cross to Cardinal Newman School – Luton where she will be holding a series of assemblies.

If you would like to host the Lampedusa Cross in your parish for a time and hold a pilgrimage event, then please email Deborah Purfield at the CAFOD office at northampton@cafod.org.uk