It was great to meet so many parish volunteers and supporters at the Lent fast day meetings at St Margaret Mary Church in Park Gate and St Bede’s Church in Basingstoke last week, and we were so fortunate to have excellent speakers at both.
At the meeting at St Margaret Mary’s Maureen Thompson our parish volunteer in Emsworth talked about her experiences at the COP24 UN Summit on Climate Change in Poland. She gave an insightful analysis of the summit and what was achieved, and then challenged us to make our voices heard by writing to our MPs and becoming CAFOD MP correspondents.
On Saturday at St Bede’s Helene Lavaud CAFOD’s HR adviser for offices in Africa spoke passionately about her trip to Eastern Congo where she met former child soldiers who had been helped by one of CAFOD’s partners CAJED. She told us the story of Serge. At the age of 12 his father died and he ended up living on the streets . One day a truck pulled up and asked him and other street children to help unload biscuits but they were then locked in the truck and driven away. He was taken into the bush for military training and used as a spy to gain information. Luckily he escaped and went to the police. CAJED then took him to a referral centre and eventually to a host family . He has been reintegrated back into school and is now studying hard and learning new skills.
Thank you to all those who came to the meetings I hope you found them as inspiring as I did. Many thanks to Robert Corry for organising the meeting at St Margaret Mary and to Tony Spiteri and Mary Huntley for all their help at the meeting at St Bedes.
Our last Lent fast day meeting is next Tuesday 5th March at St Joseph’s Church Newbury 7:15pm. At this meeting Kezia Harrow our Step into the Gap volunteer will be talking about her experiences visiting CAFOD projects in the Holy Land . She is a very enthusiastic young person and I am sure her talk will be inspirational so do come to hear her.