Inspiring talk from Kayode our Country Representative for Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Online Harvest meeting 12th September

Online Harvest meeting 12th September

Wow it was great to see so many parish volunteers from Arundel & Brighton and Portsmouth Dioceses on Saturday 12th September for our first joint Harvest fast day online meeting. We were very privileged to have Kayode Akintola, our country Representative for Sierra Leone and Liberia joining us at the meeting.

Training faith leaders in Sierra Leone

Kayode Training faith leaders in Sierra Leone

The advantage of an online meeting was that Kayode could speak to us from his home in Freetown Sierra Leone. He told us how coronavirus was having a devastating impact on communities. Because of lock down farmers had been unable to go to their fields to sow seeds and those who relied on casual work for money to buy food were not earning any money so many families did not have food to eat. Also many rural communities do not have a near by access to clean water so hand washing is very difficult.

Access to water

Kayode thanked CAFOD volunteers and supporters for their help and support for the coronavirus appeal  Your donations have provided emergency food packages, hand washing and hygiene equipment, and PPE for health clinics and maternity units . However Kayode told us that the long term need for food supplies and access to clean water would mean that communities will need support for many months to come. He appealed for 3 things

  • To pray for the communities and the partners that CAFOD work with for example the Handmaid Sisters who run a clinic and maternity unit.
  • To donate to the Harvest Family fast day appeal
  • To ask the UK government to cancel the debt of the Sierra Leone and Liberia so that this money can be spent on combating coronavirus and health care.

    Sr Gertrude form the Handmaid sisters in PPE

    Sr Gertrude form the Handmaid sisters in PPE

Many thanks to everyone who came to the meeting .I hope that you found it as inspiring as I did.

We have a SE region Harvest fast day online meeting on Saturday 19th September from 10:30 am to 12 noon .You can book your place on eventbrite here 

 

Respond to the Pope’s call to pray for and celebrate the gift of creation .

The season of creation runs from 1st September to 4th October (the feast day of St Francis of Assisi) To mark the season of creation the Pope has called us to pray and celebrate, reflect on our lifestyles and take prophetic and courageous decisions to restore connections that make us whole.

CAFOD has produced a novena to St Francis to be prayed in this Season of Creation.

Nine brief reflections asking St Francis of Assisi to pray for us and our world, based on his beautiful 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.

Resources from Season of Creation are here. 

Pray

Let us pray that the planet’s resources will not be plundered but shared in a just and respectful manner.  Huge changes are needed and will need a lot of prayer so a global pray intention for the month worldwide is needed.

Personal Response

We are challenged to look at the connectivity across the globe and how our lifestyles and consumerism has an effect on this plunder of the world resources and poverty of people. This season of creation could be time to make some change our lifestyle and prioritising relationships and community.

St Joseph’s Havant Supports the People of Beirut

Caritas Lebanon

Caritas Lebanon

Maureen Thompson our parish volunteer at St Joseph’s Havant and SS Thomas More & St Thomas  of Canterbury Emsworth has written this article about the parish response to the explosion in Beirut.

Our hearts went out to the people of Beirut recently when we saw the terrible devastation from the explosion in the port of Beirut in Lebanon. A beautiful country already struggling to support over a million refugees, challenged financially, facing up to corruption, as well as the pandemic, now the devastation of the Port leaves people homeless and struggling for basic needs.

Explosion in Beirut

Explosion in Beirut

GIVE

CAFOD has launched an urgent appeal to increase the support for their partner Caritas Lebanon, already working through churches in Lebanon with volunteers supporting families affected by the explosion with medical kits, emergency food, hygiene packs and help to find shelter.

Caritas Lebanon writes

Two weeks after twin explosions devastated the port area of Beirut and left around 300,000 people homeless, we are focusing on providing healthcare, covering basic needs such as food and water and repairing homes and shelters. Caritas Lebanon helped more than 46,200 people in the capital and provided them with more than 38,200-hot meals in the first nine days after the blasts. More than 4,500 people received medicines from Caritas, which has also distributed first aid and hygiene kits and food kits and continues to do house calls. Over 170 people died as a result of the two explosions caused by the poorly stored ammonium nitrate. Beyond the death toll, the 6000 people injured and the 300,000 made homeless, the impact of the explosions on the Lebanese capital is catastrophic and the needs are massive.”

Donate to the Beirut Emergency Appeal

Please donate directly to help survivors and their families in the aftermath

https://cafod.org.uk/Give/Donate-to-Emergencies/Beirut-Emergency-Appeal

ACT

Cake

Cake

One of our parish families Mona and Nabil have their own family connections in   Lebanon and they have been in touch directly with people there, hearing some very difficult stories of food shortages. So, Mona offered  parishioners a slice of Lebanese cake to enjoy with a coffee. Hoping this small gesture will act in the spirit of solidarity encouraging  prayers for those in Lebanon. We called round to lots of homes especially of people we have not seen since March. It was lovely to be welcomed by so many people we have missed from our church community for so long- everyone loves cake and we had plenty of promises of prayer and financial support.

Cakes

Cakes

PRAY

On 9th August Pope Francis made a special appeal for solidarity with Lebanon at his Sunday Angelus.  He said  “Last Tuesday’s catastrophe calls everyone, beginning with the Lebanese people, to work together for the common good of this beloved country. Lebanon has a particular identity, fruit of the encounter of different cultures, that has emerged over the course of time as a model of living together. Certainly, this coexistence is now very fragile, we know this, but I am praying that, with God’s help and everyone’s genuine participation, it may be reborn free and strong,”

Mary, Our Lady, Queen of  Lebanon

Our Lady, the Cedar of Lebanon,”

Our Lady Queen of Lebanon

Our Lady of Lebanon

grant us the faith to withstand

the sweeping blows of life as

the cedar stands straight against the wind.

We kneel at your feet, begging for your blessings

and asking your intercession to heal

and console all the victims of the blast in Beirut.

Grant them hope and courage to rebuild their lives under your loving mantel.  Amen

This statue of Our Lady of Lebanon stretches her hands towards Beirut. The shrine draws millions of faithful, both Christians and Muslims, from all over the world and now looks down on the devastated port.

Our Lady Queen of Lebanon, we pray for the people of the Lebanon.