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?

 

 

 

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.