Resources for Season of Creation 1st September to 4th October

Novena to St Francis

Novena to St Francis

To mark the season of creation  CAFOD has prepared a Novena to St Francis, which are nine reflections asking St Francis to pray for us and our world based on the canticle of the Sun.

This novena is a song of penitence and praise, guiding us to care for the earth and for our most vulnerable sisters and brothers, especially the Amazon peoples. They are currently under grave risk from coronavirus, given their fragile situation, often in remote locations far from government services. Communities with whom we work are reporting a sharp increase in predatory attacks on land. People smugglers are also active and those being trafficked are in more danger than ever, having no access to healthcare.

The pandemic shows us that “we have not heard the cry of the poor and our seriously ill planet” warns Pope Francis, describing this as “a time to choose what matters and what passes away”. (Urbi et Orbi, 2020)

Use these video prayers over nine days or at nine moments of personal prayer. Each has four phases: Canticle; Amazon voice; penitential prayer; plea for intercession. You can download the prayers or watch the videos –

First Prayer -The Sun

“We praise you, Lord, for all your creatures, especially for Brother Sun, who is the day through whom you give us light.” (St Francis of Assisi)

“I dream that this Amazon, so beautiful and diverse, a gift from God,

this earth which gives life, our life, our mother, is not transformed into a desert.”

(Fr. Henri de Roziers, Pastoral Land Commission, Brazil)

Creator God,

We are nourished by your radiance. Forgive us for the harm we cause your earth, the heat and drought unleashed by climate change.

St Francis, you loved our sacred world, you praised God ceaselessly for his dazzling creation.

May we learn from your example.

 St Francis, pray for us.


Maureen tells us about Emsworth’s Virtual Pilgrimage and signing the Coronavirus petition

Map of pilgrimage route

Map of pilgrimage route

Our world has changed so much now, much more has to be done from our armchairs. Sometimes it can be a bit lonely and our levels of anxiety are high so Maureen our campaigns volunteer from Emsworth  has come up with the idea of virtually making the trip the parish was considering to travel to Canterbury  to commemorate  850 years since the martyrdom of Thomas Becket. A spiritual journey supported by our daily exercise each day.  We  have been “walking”  for 12 days  sharing our prayer and actions with fellow travellers as we imagine a journey  along the Old Way along the south downs  to Canterbury .



This week Alison  one of our school volunteers who has joined the pilgrimage is encouraging everyone to sign the latest CAFOD petition

Alison says “As you walk through the attractive villages and beautiful, lush countryside between Clayton and Plumpton, or wherever your virtual pilgrimage takes you, I ask you to allow your thoughts to travel many miles away to the people in the developing world who have nothing to protect them from the devastating impact of coronavirus. In these countries millions of people, already struggling to feed their families, now face extreme hunger as jobs are lost and markets shut down.

These vulnerable families are ill equipped to fight the virus.  The public health systems are totally inadequate.  Many countries have shortages of the most basic supplies such as masks, oxygen and even soap and water.  Some do not have a single ventilator.

The scale of the crisis is frightening as the pandemic spreads across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East as well as among refugee camps and displaced populations in countries such as Syria, South Sudan and Bangladesh.  We must reach out to them. If you feel able, please add your name to a petition set up by CAFOD asking the Government to play its part.” 

Please remember them in your prayers

Restoring and healing God, we pray for all those suffering across the world because of the Pandemic.  May these extraordinary times galvanise our world leaders to work together in an effort to make deep and lasting changes to the injustices that cause so much misery and premature deaths in the developing world and in areas of conflict.  Give us the strength and courage to speak up for those who have no voice and to do our part to make the world a better place.  Amen


Hand washing in Zimbabwe

Hand washing in Zimbabwe

Young Leaders at Salesian College focus on SDG No Poverty !

Young Leaders Assembly

Young Leaders leading the assembly

Many thanks to our Young leaders from Salesian College Farnborough for raising awareness about poverty and the work that CAFOD does in a school assembly.

One of the Young Leaders sent this report to me

“Earlier this week we celebrated mass at school; we used this opportunity as a CAFOD group to exhibit our presentation on poverty.

Young Leaders

Young Leaders

Our introduction was a pragmatic definition of poverty, which moved into, with the next speaker, a demonstration – with the statistics gathered transposed proportionally on the attendants of mass, as in, the school community. A certain number of years were told to stand, then: “Poverty affects 3 billion people in the world. This is 39% of the population. So, if our school was a representation of the global population, each one of those years would be living in poverty.” The process we extended to the other statistics, a number of years or a half of the room told to stand to illustrate a damning litany of facts that rolls on outside the walls of our school, by which none of us are affected, culminating with the 1% of the population who live on or above £23,000 p.a., whom we represented by placing 7 comfier chairs in the audience. These 7 people, we said, out of 700, would get the opportunity to receive a special lunch later in the day for him or her and a friend, plus a packet of skittles “for no other reason than the place they sat down today”.

1 in 100

Then we discussed the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, and the optimism and realities concerned with them, then an overview of Catholic social teaching – that everyone is made in God’s image, and by God’s image should anyone expect to be treated. And to end, an overview of the steps we’ve taken as a group to publicise the charity, and our future plans:

“This year, CAFOD has recommended that the Young Leaders focus on one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. Our team has chosen to focus on the goal of No Poverty. So far we’ve created social media accounts on both Twitter and Instagram to spread awareness of the work CAFOD is doing. We have also prepared the Privilege Day we mentioned earlier. Next term we plan to focus on fundraising and we’ll continue to try and raise awareness by doing some smaller assemblies. We hope that you can fully take part in the activities in the future and help the college to support CAFOD, an important part of Salesian life.”

I personally believe we have made an unambiguous introduction to CAFOD for the new Year 7s, and that a spark for most people, (given the originality of this assembly within school assembly tradition) if not already lit, has been relit to see with more passionate detail the undertaking of this charity. But also of charity in generality. Thus I say that accordingly, future help will be readily at hand.”

We look forward to hearing about your fundraising activities. Thank you so much!