Celebrating our long-standing volunteer Maureen Borbone

CAFOD was delighted to be able to celebrate with Maureen Borbone for her services as a volunteer for over 30 years! We had a special Papal blessing and Bishop Peter wrote a lovely thank you letter from the diocese.

Deborah presenting the Papal Blessing to Maureen

As Maureen hasn’t been well, Deborah Purfield (CAFOD coordinator Northampton) arranged for these to be presented to Maureen in her home saying, “Maureen doesn’t like a fuss at the best of times and I feel going over to her home with a few people would be better”.

Maureen has done lots not only in her parish of Holy Family and St John’s Luton, but around Luton and so it was wonderful that her friends and family were present to celebrate her years of devotion and support.  We had representatives from the parish, from Grassroots in Luton where she is heavily involved in, fellow volunteers as well as her sister, Bernadette.

Maureen Borbone delighted with her Papal Blessing for over 30 years of volunteering for CAFOD

Maureen has been promoting Fast Days at Holy Family and St John’s Luton for many years.  She started the “Bag of blessings” for Lent where people were handed bags at the start and Maureen collected their offerings at the end of the Lenten period which has gone to help further CAFOD’s work.  She was also a main instigator in organising the parish soup lunches which have drawn in lots of people from the parish and beyond.  These have raised a considerable amount for CAFOD over the years!

Not only has Maureen attended numerous CAFOD supporters’ days but has gone the extra mile to encourage others to come along with her by offering them lifts. On several occasions, she has also packed her car with Fairtrade goods to set up a stall at the event.

Maureen keen to get all to support Fairtrade

Being a very keen Fairtrade supporter, you can always see her using every opportunity to encourage people to support it.  For example, when we went to present her with her papal blessing, she was very keen to have us sign her petition to Sainsbury’s to ask them to move back to selling Fairtrade tea which they have moved away from.

 

>> Find out more and Sign the petition to Sainsbury’s

Maureen has also been a voice for the voiceless and has supported numerous CAFOD campaigns over the years.  She has raised awareness of the plight of those living with injustice and is a wonderful evangelist of the Gospel.

Sr Maire presented Maureen with a letter of thanks from Bishop Peter Doyle and which Maureen read out to all present.  She was moved to tears at its content.

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We thank God for you Maureen and for all you have done in your quiet yet very effective way over the years.  As Bishop Peter said in his letter, “ without people like you, the root causes of poverty cannot be tackled.. (we) want to thank you for all the years you have stood on the side of those living in poverty and for your great service to the Lord and His Church.  You are a wonderful example and witness to our Catholic faith in action and a great inspiration.”

>> Find out how you can volunteer for CAFOD

 

Bishop Peter shows solidarity with the World’s poorest

When Debbie Purfield met up with Bishop Peter Doyle for a catch up on CAFOD’s work in the diocese, she was keen for Bishop Peter to hear about the latest campaign – Power to Be calling on the World Bank to ensure renewable energy access for the world’s poorest people..

Bishop Peter Doyle signs the Power to be Petition

Bishop Peter was keen to support the campaign and signed a petition there and then to show his solidarity.

>> Sign our online petition

Bishop Peter also heard how several parishes like St Edward (Milton Keynes) and Sacred Heart (Leighton Buzzard) had invited their MP during the week of action to let them know about these issues and they held a card signing in their parishes as well.  Some like St Teresa (Princes Risborough) held a talk during the week of action while others are planning to hold the card signing later on in the year.

With the many changes taking place in the diocese over the coming months, it was good to hear how parishes were still keen to stand in solidarity with those living in poverty and take action.

Bishop Peter Doyle shows his solidarity of those living in poverty

 Bishop Peter said, “Thank you CAFOD for your untiring work of raising awareness of and supporting our brothers and sisters living in poverty through engagement in parishes and schools in our diocese. You do wonderful work and I am very grateful for all you do.”

 

>>  Find out more about what CAFOD does and how you can volunteer for CAFOD.

 

“Faith in Action” day at St Paul’s School

CAFOD Education volunteers Ged Nolan and Cathy Stormonth were excited to be attending the St Paul’s School Faith in Action Day with students from other Catholic secondary schools – Thornton College, St Thomas Becket, St Thomas More and Cardinal Newman and guests from Pax Christi, The Columbans, Young Christian Workers, Northampton Youth Ministry Office and of course CAFOD!

Ged and Cathy with Bishop Peter at the CAFOD stall

An exhibition stand was set up with all the latest information from CAFOD including information about CAFOD’s work using our Learning hub, the ‘Power to be’ campaign, how to run a Lampedusa Cross refugee pilgrimage, some general fundraising ideas and specific fundraising for Autumn Harvest and Christmas World Gifts and lots on Climate Change and about Pope Francis’ message to everyone – Laudato Si’.

Bishop Peter addresses delegates at Faith In Action day – St Paul’s School MK

The ‘Faith in Action’ day was opened by the Northampton Youth Ministry with a reading, prayer and time for reflection. Bishop Peter, who was in attendance, greeted everyone and was promptly asked some searching questions by the Youth Worker about why he was there and what he hoped to achieve that day? The interviewer also asked the students the same questions with much hilarity when students gave some frank answers such as ‘I’m attending because I’m missing lessons at school!’

Ged Nolan – CAFOD stall

The CAFOD stand attracted students who browsed the resources and took some away. Ged and Cathy were able to talk to students and give them some ideas about community service and fundraising.

The students left to go to their class-based ‘Faith in Action’ sessions and this left the teachers, other staff, Bishop Peter and Fr Tony Brennan for the ’Professionals in Attendance’ session with CAFOD. Ged gave some tips for the ‘Faith in Action Award’ and also explained how well the Power to be assemblies and workshops were going as schools wanted to learn more about the importance of sustainable and safe energy.  They described how having access renewable energy, solar panels, in a town in Kenya has helped transformed the lives of the community.  Children have the chance of a better education as they are able to study for longer periods and are empowered to realise their dreams and ambitions.  All agreed that they wanted to explore this powerful campaign further and adapt it to their schools’ needs.

>> Sign our Power to Be campaign petition

A discussion about the importance of Laudato Si’ ensued and the ongoing refugee crisis.  It was a useful discussion and it was clear that all schools attending wanted to work with CAFOD next year and praised the high quality of CAFOD resources.  Cathy and Ged were very pleased to hear this and are looking forward to working with schools in the year ahead.

A big thank you to St Paul’s for inviting CAFOD to be part of the “Faith in Action” day and to Schools’ volunteers Cathy and Ged for supporting the day and raising the plight of those living in poverty.

If you are interested in being a schools’ volunteer please get in touch northampton@cafod.org.uk