Reflect on the Plight of Refugees using our Advent Service

Reflecting on the Lost Family Portraits

Reflecting on the Lost Family Portraits

Our Advent Service reflects on the theme of journeys . The readings explore the journey of the people of Israel in Exodus, the journey of Aza a mother who fled from Syria to Greece with her nine-month old son and the call of John the Baptist to prepare the way for the Lord.  During the service there was an opportunity to think about our own experiences of journey, who had supported us through difficult times in our lives and how we welcome the people we met on the way. We also prayed for those who had to flee from their homes because of war and violence, and those who are looking for a safe place and a friendly welcome.

Lost Family Portraits

Lost Family Portraits

At the service in my church I used the Lost Family Portraits as a focal point . These photos are in an exhibition in Parliament this week alongside messages of hope for refugees written by CAFOD supporters. The photos tell the stories of families living in the refugee camp in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon and the empty chairs represent missing family members who been lost during the conflict.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ special concern for migrants and refugees, we invite you to join the Share the Journey campaign. Alongside Catholics worldwide, we call on governments to agree on two global ‘compacts’ which place the human dignity of people on the move at their heart. Please sign the petition to the Prime minister here.

Please join with us in saying the closing prayer of the service.

Come Lord Jesus come and let your light shine though us so that through our action we may be salt for the earth, a light in people’s sight and that we might reach out to you in one another especially those in need. 

Amen 

We pray for refugees and migrants.

We pray for refugees and migrants.

 

Beautiful Mass of Remembrance at St Michael & All Angels

Book of Remembrance at the altar at St Michael & All Angels.

Book of Remembrance at the altar at St Michael & All Angels.

Many thanks to Fr Gerard for beautiful and inspiring memorial mass last Sunday at St Michael & All Angels church. He took the theme of living life to the full for the mass and talked about the how the work of CAFOD enables our brothers and sisters overseas to live their lives to full without worrying about whether they will have enough to eat or clean water to drink.

Also a HUGE thank you to Tim Collins our CAFOD parish volunteer at St Michael & All Angels for organising the mass and for speaking so eloquently about the importance of remembering CAFOD supporters who have passed away and the legacy that they have left behind. Finally many thanks to all those who came to the mass to pray for those in the Book of Remembrance, and to the parishioners of St Michael & All Angels for their very warm welcome and hospitality.

If you would like to host the memorial mass in your parish next year during the month of November please let me know by calling 01252 329385 or emailing portsmouth@cafod.org.uk     

 

Memorial Mass at St Michael & All Angels 10am 19th November

In Remembrance

In Remembrance

During November, the month of remembrance, we take time to pray for those who have died and give thanks for loved ones who have made a deep and lasting impression on our lives. Over the years, CAFOD has been blessed to work alongside the kindest and most committed friends any charity could hope for. The insight, faith and strength of our founders and early supporters still shape our values and way of working today.

But one of the saddest aspects of growing older, as individuals and as an organisation, is that some of our closest friends have passed away in recent months and years. In our own diocese, we have lost a number of friends who have played an inspirational and important role in our work. Friends like Ginny Westwood who was a member of Our Lady of Sorrow and St Philip Benizi parish and an enthusiastic CAFOD parish volunteer who passed away in August.

So in celebration of our inspiring friends, and as a small token of our appreciation for their years of kindness and dedication, CAFOD Portsmouth will be holding its Memorial Mass at St Michael & All Angels Church Leigh Park PO9 5BD on Sunday 19th November  at 10am.

All are welcome to join us, whether to remember fellow CAFOD supporters or members of your own family, friends and community who’ve passed away. At our Memorial Mass, you can take precious time to remember your loved ones, knowing that you’re among friends.

A Book of Remembrance will be presented and blessed by the celebrant at each Mass. If you would like to add a name to this list you would be very welcome; whether or not you can attend the service itself. Please get in touch with Roisin on the legacy team on mailto:remembrance@cafod.org.uk  or call 020 70955348

Refreshments will be provided after the service, so we hope you’ll be able to stay on for a while to speak with other local CAFOD supporters and staff. It would be wonderful to see you at such a special event.