Getting ready for Harvest!

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Thank you to all our speakers and everyone who came along to our Supporters’ Meeting on Saturday! It was so fantastic to see so many people from all over the diocese travelling to be together again as one big CAFOD family!

Laudato Si

The morning provided an opportunity for us to explore our new Laudato Si’ study guide with Susy Brouard, Theology Programme Adviser.  (The guides – which now come with Leaders’ Notes and an accompanying DVD – can be ordered from here).

Susy’s slides can be downloaded from here and her talk (which includes all the passages we reflected on) can be found here.   The litany that we used at the end of the meeting, can be downloaded from here.

Anne, Jadzia nad Steve2 (1280x956)As I promised, please find our Bishop’s Pastoral letter which encourages us all to read, study and act on the encyclical here. You’ll see from this that he has put our diocese on ‘Environmental Alert’.

Harvest Fast Day

We then looked at ways we can respond to Laudato Si’. Fast Day is an opportunity to stand up and thank our Catholic community for all their support and bring the stories of our partners’ work into our churches. Our work around this should help ‘strengthen the conviction that we are all one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference.’ #52 Laudato Si’    

Paul Whittle (Community Participation Manager) gave a talk on our Harvest Fast Day Focus country (Niger) and Hamani’s story, which can be downloaded here (slides 18-28).  We ran out of time on the day so here is Michel Mondengele (our Niger Programme Manager) talking about the situation the country is facing at the moment.

Ben White, CAFOD’s Film Content Producer, then spoke about his visit to Doutchi in Niger, the focus of our regular giving ‘Hands On‘ programme as well as Daniel Collins, Direct Marketing Executive, who oversees the scheme.  Ben’s slides can be found here. Our additional information sheet on Niger can be downloaded here.

Just to clarify – you’ll see from our Fast Day parish envelopes that we are asking people to generously make a single gift donation to our Harvest Fast day appeal and, if they can, consider giving regularly to our ‘Hands On’ programme.  Many people at the meeting who were regular givers – asked if they could switch to ‘Hands On’ and Dan said that would be possible – just let us know.

Refugee Crisis Appeal

Since the Supporters’ Meeting, CAFOD has decided that, as the scale of the Refugee Crisis is so immense and enduring, part of the donations made this Harvest Fast Day will now be used to support our partners work with refugees in Europe and the Middle East.   The short talk has been amended to reflect this and can be downloaded here. You’ll see from this that we are still focussing on Niger as the monies raised will be used principally to fund our partners’ long term development work but the talk now includes a description of some of the work we are carrying out with refugees.

Please click here to go to our Refugee Crisis in Europe page on the main site – which includes links to our prayers, the online campaign action to the Prime Minister, our Refugee Crisis Appeal and a full list of organisations by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference offering shelter, time and skills to support refugees.

Taking Action

Fast Day – The Fast Day poster, prayer card, ‘How to’ guide and additional ‘What your money can buy’ posters can be downloaded from here.  You can order copies from or our online shop here.  Please don’t forget to let me know if you have any special events (i.e. quiz night, suppers, coffee mornings etc) and send me your photos.  Please note that you cannot donate using our new text giving service (HARV15 £5) from a Channel Islands or other non UK mobile.

Laudato Si’ – The Global Catholic Climate Movement petition can be downloaded here for use in your local community and the online action is here. Remember the deadline for sending the petition back to CAFOD is 15 November. Action cards are also now available via our online shop here.

The Sustainable Development Goals will be agreed in September 2015 in New York. Pope Francis will deliver the opening address on 25 September as world leaders gather for the UN General Assembly. Read more here and pray with us a novena to St Francis in solidarity with the Pope.

Animations on Laudato Si’ for young people will be available on the main website at the end of September and CAFOD has just produced a workshop for use with 11-18 year olds (please let me know if you’d like a copy as it’s not online as yet). Powerpoint reflections and prayers (as well as our climate reflection cards) can be found here.

More information on the Livesimply Award can be found here as well as a fab film below.


I’ve now ensured all events mentioned at the meeting are on our ‘Events’ page here.

Thank you to all our speakers, Susy, Paul, Ben and Dan – and to everyone who volunteered on the day – our lovely Laura (who took the fab photos), Mary (who organises all the refreshments) and Virginia (who registered everyone). Thank you SO MUCH! Any queries or questions – you know where I am!

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