For most university students, the summer is a time to take a much deserved break from study, relax, earn a bit of money, do some travelling and catch up with old school friends. But for Michael Jones, it is also an opportunity to put faith to action whilst having fun. On the 3 September, Michael is taking part in the Reading Triathlon 2017 and has chosen to raise funds for CAFODS’ Syria Appeal.
We asked Michael what inspired him to do the Triathlon and fundraise for CAFOD. This is what he told us:
I am an active person and wanted a physical and mental challenge for the summer before returning to university. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to raise money for charity, specifically one that supports Syria and its saddening crisis. I was deeply touched by the news coverage on the war and its devastating effect on men, women and particularly children. It made me aware of just how privileged I am to have a safe home, good health and endless opportunities. Since I was a young boy I have been involved in various CAFOD campaigns through my parish and school, so CAFOD was an obvious choice.
Michael aims to raise £1500. Any donations can be made online via this website and will be gratefully received. Please give generously if you can!
We will be following Michael closely and will report back in September, so watch this space!
>> For more fundraising ideas see our fundraising page
Holy Ghost Confirmation group
Sixteen young people from the Holy Ghost Luton confirmation group heard about CAFOD’s work, with the focus on refugees.
Lively discussion about refugees
The group participated very well and there was a lively discussion about how and why CAFOD worked
in partnership. Hearing how “poverty is not a misfortune but an injustice” hit home to many! Some of them were from Kenya and were pleased to hear how CAFOD’s Hands On project in Kenya converted dry land to reservoir.
Refugee statistics icebreaker
They were shocked at the horrific statistics about the refugees and learned how CAFOD’s partners were helping. The Northampton Diocese Lampedusa Cross was present and they heard about it and how they too could stand in solidarity with the refugees by writing messages of hope.
Having a keen sense of justice, they were keen to do something to help and each said what they would do personally to promote CAFOD’s work. Some said they would tell their families and friends about what they had heard and share information on social media. Others were keen to fundraise in their parish and schools. What they all had in common was the enthusiasm of promoting Lent Fast Day in the parish. Some were keen to give the short talk while others were happy to hand out envelopes. One even offered to do flyers to promote the event. What wonderful ideas these young people come up with using the skills they have! Great team work.
We look forward to hearing how they get on in the parish and their schools for Lent Fast day. Hopefully they will set a trend for future groups!
Download our Lent Fast Day resources and start preparing for Fast day which is on the 10 March 2017.
St Paul’s school (Milton Keynes) held their an annual Advent service on the 7 Dec 2016 and this year they based it on CAFOD’s Advent service.
Anne Hoskins (Chaplain) writes :
Our annual Advent Service was a very spiritual occasion. We used as a basis for our liturgy an adaptation of the Advent Service produced by CAFOD. We were very privileged too to be able to borrow the Diocesan Lampedusa Cross which has been wildly used in parishes and schools across the diocese. This was the centrepiece of our service. It was placed together with a child’s life jacket.
St Paul School (Milton Keynes) Advent Service 2016
The Lampedusa Crosses were made by a carpenter, Francesco Tuccio, from the small Italian island of Lampedusa. When hundreds of refugees who were fleeing Eritrea and Somalia drowned off the coast of Lampedusa, he was moved to gather the driftwood from the wrecked boats and turn them into crosses, which he offered to survivors as a small but powerful symbol of hope. CAFOD in turn sent one of these crosses to each of the Cathedrals in England and Wales.
Students, parents and staff joined in the service and also completed the Lampedusa Cross pledge cards expressing gestures of love this Advent, keeping in mind that the Holy family were refugees as well. The service gave us all a real opportunity for quiet reflection on the true meaning of Advent in the busy lives that we lead.
You can still order cards to write your messages of hope or do it online. Do use our interactive Advent calendar which has a reflection and prayer for every day and why not download our Advent service.