Staying connected this Easter and beyond…

Fr Liam saying our first virtual mass assisted by CAFOD staff

Fr Liam saying our first virtual mass assisted by CAFOD staff

For many of us, this Easter Sunday will look very different to the ones we’ve had before and although we cannot gather in person, there are lots of ways to come together with our Catholic community around the world during these difficult times.

From joining CAFOD’s Facebook community group to watching our live Easter Sunday Children’s liturgy, joining our online talks, and using our Easter prayers as a way of praying outside of Church liturgies and services – there are so many ways to get involved.

Soup lunch at Our Lady Immaculate Westbour

Soup lunch at Our Lady Immaculate Westbourne

Only a few weeks ago, parishes, schools and communities across the country came together for our sixtieth annual Family Fast Day.We heard some great stories about Lent lunches and suppers and we want to say a massive thank you to everyone who joined us. Your support will mean that we can continue to support local experts around the world, which is especially important in the coming weeks and months as the number of confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continue to rise in the African and Asian countries where we work.

We know that the impact of COVID-19 on countries with weak health care systems will be devastating for communities with limited availability to vital hand washing and hygiene facilities.  However, we refuse to be overwhelmed by the task ahead – already our country teams working with church agencies, and their respective government health authorities are reaching out to vulnerable families with critical information on how to keep safe.

Hand washing in Uganda

Hand washing in Uganda

We’ve learnt from our Ebola experiences in Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Sierra Leone that the role of faith, traditional, and community leaders is pivotal in reinforcing hygiene messages, and making sure that people understand what to do if they feel unwell.And thanks to support from across Portsmouth Diocese we will be able to continue to stand alongside these organisations during these challenging times.

As Linda Jones from our Theology team wrote in her blog about ‘signs of hope in a time of crisis’, like snowdrops in January, or daffodils in spring, we all will have seen and experienced signs of hope.It would be great if you could share with us at portsmouth@cafod.org.uk  the things happening in your community that have given you hope this Holy Week.

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