Joy Filled Mass of Thanksgiving for Volunteers in the South East Region

Afternoon tea after the mass

Afternoon tea after the mass

Many thanks to all those who came to our annual Mass of Thanksgiving for Volunteers on Saturday 16th June at Our Lady Help of Christians Church Farnborough . It was lovely mass in which we thanked God for all our CAFOD volunteers in the South East region which includes Arundel and Brighton, Brentwood, East Anglia, Portsmouth, Southwark and Westminster dioceses.

Thank you so much to Fr Chris for hosting the mass and to Helen Priestley our parish volunteer at Our Lady Help of Christians for providing a fantastic afternoon tea afterwards. I would also like to thank Fr Marco who presided at the mass and who is the chaplain at the Salesian school in Chertsey and very involved in our CAFOD Youth Leadership programme at the school.

Tania talking about our work in Latin America

Tania talking about our work in Latin America

Tania Dalton, who is the communications officer for Latin America came and spoke very movingly about our work in Latin America. She told us how CAFOD supports the local radio which is a life line for people living in rural communities as it gives them information about weather, farming techniques and  supports them in their struggle for human rights.

She then spoke about an inspirational priest Fr Assis from Cape Verde, a Spiritan missionary priest,  who works in the favelas with the poor in Brazil.  The Spiritan fathers founded our partner MDF (Movement for the Defence of Favela Residents). We fund work carried out by MDF to lobby local authorities in Sao Paulo for decent living conditions in the favelas, such as sewerage, electricity, decent housing, title deeds.  It’s one of the partners that features in C2 Brazil. Fr Assis told Tania about his work

“For me, Church is people joining together for a common purpose. People coming together who want to make a change, who want to transform their neighbourhood. This is what Jesus Christ was doing. He didn’t build churches; he brought people together.”

“This is my vision of church: trembling, not indifferent, in the face of injustice.  This is what I believe in. We have to work for change in society. We don’t always manage it, but it means that we are friends of the poor and enemies of poverty.”

Many thanks to Tania for her inspirational talk.

Enjoying the afternoon tea

Enjoying the afternoon tea

Finally thank you to Martin Brown our CPC in Arundel and Brighton for organising the music for the mass and to Jane Crone CPC for East Anglia, Chris Driscoll CPC for Brentwood and Paul Whittle CPM for SE region for travelling such long distances to join us for the mass.

Enjoying the afternoon tea

Enjoying the afternoon tea

 

Amazing Parish Volunteer Eric Smith

Eric Smith

Eric Smith

Eric Smith has been a CAFOD parish volunteer at St Peter’s Winchester since 1991  – which is AMAZING! . For over 25 years Eric has encouraged his fellow parishioners to support CAFOD by collecting their 5ps during Advent and Lent and donating them to the fast day appeals. He told me that people even come up to him in the streets in Winchester to give him any spare 5ps that they have.  Eric reckons that over £25,000 in 5ps has been donated to CAFOD so far.

He also supports the CAFOD hunger lunches at St Peter’s on the first Friday of every month and regularly gives the short talk at mass for Harvest and Lent fast days. He told me that he supports CAFOD because he wants to respond to the needs of his “brothers and sisters living in poverty overseas”. Thank you so much Eric for everything you have done to support CAFOD.  You are amazing!

Interested in becoming a CAFOD volunteer in your parish then contact portsmouth@cafod.org.uk 

To watch a webinar by  Geoff O’Donoghue on CAFOD’s work please click on the link below.

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/3439410201905830919 

CAFOD Cafe run by volunteers raises £30,000

Vi and John and myself in the cafe

Vi and John and myself in the cafe

The CAFOD cafe at St Matthieu’s Church in Jersey has raised £30,000 for CAFOD since it began in 2002. Fr Tom Friery CSSP was inspired to set up a Cafe which raised money for CAFOD after being a missionary priest in Nigeria. With the help of volunteers like Vi Alcock  the cafe was established.

Vi told me that in the beginning they raised very little about £5 on a good day but gradually this increased, and more remarkably people brought donations of loose change, and then envelopes of paper sums. The largest single donation was £400. Parishioners also began to donate tea, coffee,  biscuits, cakes and jam  and so the funds began to build and to date the cafe has raised £30,000.

Vi serving her loyal customers.

Vi serving her loyal customers.

“Not only is it important to raise money for the less fortunate of our fellow beings, but humanity in the community in which we live is also important. This has become very visible on a Sunday morning, to see people chatting to each other over a “cuppa”, talking and speaking to someone they would normally nod to.” Vi

Vi not only runs the cafe but also organises the Harvest and Lent fast days  at St Matthieu’s church and she is one of our amazing volunteers that we are celebrating and thanking  this  volunteers’ week.

Many thanks to Vi and all those who support her running the cafe when she is away . A HUGE THANK YOU to all those who donate to the cafe and have helped raised this amazing amount ! Thank you all so much!