Since the new CAFOD group was set up at St Martin de Porres – Luton in September 2018, they have been fired up to get going in promoting CAFOD’s work in the parish. In December they promoted World Gifts and even managed to encourage a few more to join the group!
For this Lent Fast day they pulled out all the stops! Some of the group like parish volunteer Clara attended the Supporters’ day and was so inspired by what she heard and experienced that she discussed her ideas with Debbie Purfield (CAFOD coordinator), the group and Fr Simon (parish priest). What they came up with was just amazing!
When parishioners entered the narthex, they couldn’t miss the wonderful display of CAFOD materials and posters.
Before mass, the following video (based on 1 Corthinians 13) was shown. It focused people from the start and provided a reflective space.
At the homily slot, Fr Simon gave a short and poignant homily about reaching out to our neighbours which included our global neighbours and how this could be done through CAFOD.
This was then followed by the video of Mahinur from Bangladesh which really made real the life this amazing woman is having to lead. Group members then gave the short talk.
One of whom was Reena from the Philippines. She was very moved by Mahinur’s story as understood the some of the challenges that Mahinur was going through from her own experience of facing devastation in the Philippines. She ended by saying, “I feel so blessed to be in England”. Fr Simon thanked her for having the courage to share her life.
Clara (parish volunteer) said, “There was a lot of compassion on the faces of the parishioners and a feeling of solidarity. I feel most people were able to identify with Mahinur’s story and I believe that our support of CAFOD’s work will draw us to living out more our Gospel values.”
There were not enough envelopes to go round for the final mass which has not happened before! A very good sign of how some simple steps have made such a difference to the Fast Day experience. More will distribute this coming week.
Thanks to St Martin de Porres parish for their support. A special thanks to Fr Simon who was so helpful and encouraging to the CAFOD group. A massive THANK YOU to the fantastic CAFOD group who have done an incredible job this Lent Fast day in standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are living in poverty. You are all an inspiration!