Summer of Hope

As we celebrate the fifth-year anniversary of Laudato Si’, now seems the perfect time to reflect on Pope Francis’ words from his ground-breaking encyclical.

Summer of hope - CAFOD's Coronavirus Appeal

Summer of hope – CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal

His words, calling everyone to hear to ‘the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor’ seem particularly apt during this time of the coronavirus pandemic, where we have seen communities come together in solidarity to tackle the virus.

And, in the scale of the global pandemic, we are often drawn to thinking that our individual actions can’t make a difference. Yet, Pope Francis reminds us that “all it takes is one good person to restore hope.”

So, this summer, we are calling you and your family to help restore hope in your local and our global community. We are calling on you to be the signs of hope for our world.

What can I do?

Getting involved is easy.

We are inviting everyone to get involved in the Summer of Hope by recreating at home the events you will miss this summer and transforming them into a sign of hope through raising money for CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal.

From sports days to summer fayres, we have a whole range of ideas you can reinvent at home in our A-Z of fundraising ideas.

You can hold your socially-distanced event with your family, school community or parish – and make sure to record your efforts on social media, tagging your photos and posts with @cafod #summerofhope.

Fundraising is easy through a JustGiving page and if you’d like any help, just drop us an email on westminster@cafod.org.uk  You can also donate directly through the CAFOD website.

We can’t wait to see everything you get up to!

Dermot O’Leary backs CAFOD’s coronavirus appeal

Dermot O'Leary visiting Sierra Leone with CAFOD

Dermot O’Leary visiting Sierra Leone with CAFOD

Dermot O’Leary has added his backing to our Coronavirus Appeal for people living in some of the poorest countries in the world.

The TV and radio presenter said: “Millions of people in developing countries face devastation from coronavirus and will be able to do nothing to stop it. They need all the help they can get.
“That is why I am backing CAFOD’s fundraising appeal, so that people already living on the brink get some of the care and support we would want our own families to receive.”

“Please give whatever you can and help CAFOD’s local experts deliver food, provide clean water and train community leaders to help save lives.”

Donate now

What is my lockdown legacy?

#LockdownLegacy

#LockdownLegacy

Five years ago, Pope Francis wrote Laudato Si’ – a profound invitation to everyone on the planet to care for the earth, our common home. To mark its anniversary, Pope Francis invites us all to participate in Laudato Si’ week from 16-24 May.

During Laudato Si’ week, we at CAFOD are asking you to think about your hope for the world – to reflect and think about the world beyond lockdown.

To get involved, we are asking you to share what you want your lockdown legacy to be on social media using #LockdownLegacy and tagging @CAFOD.

Lots of people have already got involved.

Mrs Henderson from Manchester said: “My hope for the world is that we may never take the small things for granted because really they were the big things; the things that nourished our souls.”

While Councillor Sam Corcoran, Leader of Cheshire East Council, shared a message on twitter about his lockdown legacy around the environment and Laudato Si.

Listen to Councillor Sam Corcoran’s full message

We are really looking forward to hearing about your #lockdownledgacy

Bishop John Arnold hosts virtual mass for Laudato Si’ week

One Climate, One World

One Climate One World

To mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical Laudato Si’, Bishop John Arnold of Salford is set to hold a special mass and is inviting parishioners from across the country to join the online service.

 

 

Since churches were forced to close due to the lockdown, Priests across the country have leapt into action, organising online services so congregations can still celebrate together.

Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, has been no exception hosting regular masses live-streamed from Salford Cathedral with the latest being planned for Wednesday 20 May, 6-7pm, to mark the five year anniversary of Pope Francis environmental letter, Laudato Si’.

The Laudato Si’ Week Eucharistic Celebration with Bishop John Arnold will take place on Wednesday, 20 May 6-7pm, you can tune into watch here: https://www.churchservices.tv/salfordcathedral

Coronavirus Emergency from Enfield to Sao Paulo

I wonder if like me you have reflected on peoples social distancing etiquette while on your daily walk or cycle in your local park or country walk?  I certainly think to myself while cycling in my local park is the person walking too near to me or thank people who join me by making a meter distance and smiling!

Maria Favela Brazil

Maria Favela Brazil

When I return home from my walk or cycle it’s off to the bathroom to wash my hands.

I have also been enjoying the good weather and visited my Garden shed to explore what is inside. Perhaps like me you have discovered seeds to be planted or other items you have forgotten you had and decided to use them in your Garden?  I have been loving my Garden every weekend.

All of this makes me reflect on the stark contrast to life in a Favela (Shanty Town) in places like Sao Paulo in Brazil. Here many thousands of families live in buildings less robust than my garden shed with no accessible water tap to wash their hands when they return home. Families like that of Maria pictured who crowd into their tiny home with their garden a rubbish heap and no way of easily socially distancing or field to walk in.

CAFOD partners are working to support communities in precarious situations in Sao Paulo and other developing countries preparing to face their COVID 19 emergency.

Your supported is needed now.

You can find our more and donate to our emergency appeal from our web page  here.

You can find out more about our work by signing up for our weekly on line meetings here.

By Tony Sheen
Community Participation Co-ordinator – CAFOD Westminster

Solidarity during the global coronavirus pandemic

Abigail McMillan, CAFOD staff member and parish volunteer at St Mary’s Parish, Harborne, reflects on the meaning of solidarity during the global coronavirus pandemic.

These past few weeks have given me a chance to reflect on the meaning of solidarity and the messages shared from across our Caritas family.

Donate to CAFOD’s coronavirus appeal now

In Italy, Monsignor Robert Vitillo, Secretary-General of the International Catholic Migration Commission, spoke about the power of accurate information: “many, many people… don’t always have access to good and factual information.”

To El Salvador, where Fr José María Tojeira, the Head of the Institute of Human Rights at the University of Central America, reflected on the importance of prevention, preparation and prayer: “Reducing the loss of life and other health impacts of a pandemic threatening all is a core Christian responsibility. And for Christians, introspective, consecrated prayer is likewise a vehicle for solidarity.”

Join us in prayer for all those affected by the coronavirus pandemic

CAFOD Coronavirus appeal

CAFOD Coronavirus appeal

While the Director of Caritas Jerusalem recently reached out to CAFOD’s Director Christine Allen, to share a message of solidarity and hope: “At this time of sorrow, incomprehension, and tragedy, Caritas Jerusalem stands with the people of the UK, and in this crisis, we pray for God’s mercy and healing for the sick and for health and strength for all who care for them.”

And through all these messages, I’m reminded that I am strengthened by prayers from across the world as much as my prayers are strengthening others.

You can read Abigail’s full article on the CAFOD blog

Laudato Si’ week

Five years ago, Pope Francis realised his landmark encyclical, Laudato Si’ – and to mark this special anniversary, Catholics from around the world are uniting for Laudato Si’ Week, 16-24 May.

Join CAFOD’s online events

Linda Jones, CAFOD’s Head of Theology, said:

“I can still remember how excited I was five years ago when I first read Laudato Si’. It was full of ideas and written in a style that was easy to understand. Pope Francis challenges us, then and now, to think differently about progress, and to renew our commitment to bring about positive change for our neighbours and for the earth – our common home.

“He reminds us of how interconnected we all are – and how important it is to become more attentive to our relationships with God, each other and the earth. What kind of world do we want to leave behind for our children, and for all future generations?

“This call to care for our common home was a great challenge: to change not only our minds but also our hearts – a true ecological conversion.’’

CAFOD campaigners make out a 1.5 at COP24 Laudato Si'

CAFOD campaigners make out a 1.5 at COP24 Laudato Si’

During this special week, CAFOD is holing a range of online events, beginning with a volunteer prayer and chat.

Taking place 11 am-12 pm on Tuesday 19 May, we will be holding an online meeting for volunteers from across the country to come together to mark the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’.

The session will include a Bible reading, time to reflect and share, and group prayer.

Make sure to sign up to attend

COVID-19 and the impact on International Debt

We are currently living through the biggest public health crisis in a century. Right across the UK, coronavirus is having a devastating impact on all of our daily lives, and many people have lost precious loved ones.

But in many developing countries where poverty is widespread and healthcare systems are much more fragile, the effects are likely to be disastrous.

Join us on Thursday 14 May, 11 am-12 pm, for a talk about the impact that COVID-19 is having in developing countries and their International Debt.

CAFOD’s Lead Analyst, Dario Kenner, and Campaign Manager, Maria Elena Arana, will be speaking about how CAFOD advocacy program is responding to this financial crisis.

And, how we at CAFOD are calling on the UK government to ensure that the most vulnerable people are the priority in the UK’s international efforts as well as at home.

Make sure to sign up now!