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 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.
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.