Connecting Welwyn Garden City to Ethiopia!


Holy Family CAFOD Group, Welwyn Garden City with Martina from Ethiopia.


On Tuesday 17th May, Martina O’Donoghue, CAFOD’s Programme Manager from Ethiopia and Westminster Diocese representative Tony Sheen visited a group of volunteers at Holy Family Parish, Welwyn Garden City, to thank Parishioners for their support of CAFOD.

The evening was hosted by a parish CAFOD group called the Holy Family Friday Group, who have been meeting regularly and supporting CAFOD, since 1971.

The group and parish are currently connected to CAFOD’s Connect 2 Community in Ethiopia.

The group hold various fundraising initiatives in aid of CAFOD monthly, this includes hosting an annual concert with singers from the Hertfordshire constabulary. The group raises approximately £2000 a year to support the connect2 community in Ethiopia.

Group Member called Sandy Leys spoke of two fundraising events she had hosted in her back garden last summer, including a Strawberry Tea afternoon and a barbeque.

CAFOD’s Ethiopian representative Martina, gave an inspiring talk about our work, which had attendees from the three Welwyn Garden City Parishes and CAFOD volunteers from as far as Stevenage and Hertford!

Martina explained about the progress the community had been making thanks to CAFOD’s support.

In Sebeya, in the north of Ethiopia, drought threatens hundreds of families who rely on farming for survival. The community is fighting back. Local people are building reservoirs and water pipes to keep the fields green and improve their harvests.

Would your Parish like to join Connect2 Ethiopia and stand with farming families in Sebeya as they struggle to overcome drought and hunger?

In addition to helping to improve long-term farming conditions, CAFOD is also supporting people living with HIV and community building, providing emergency food rations to malnourished children, pregnant women, and new mothers, and supplying herding communities with water and animal feed.

Rebuilding Justice day with Fr Edu

Thank you to everyone to came along to meet Fr Edu at Romero house! It was a wonderful, inspirational day. If you weren’t able to attend (or just want to refresh your memory), here’s a roundup! IMG_20150711_154707520 (2) Fr Edu Gariguez is the executive secretary of NASSA (Caritas Phillippines, one of CAFOD’s parteners), and an inspiring environmental activist, so the call of Laudato Si’, the Popes new encyclical, lies close to his heart – the call on all of us to care for the world’s poorest people, for future generations, and to care for the earth as our common home. He met with CAFOD volunteers and friends at Romero house to talk about how we can respond to that call.

In particular he asked us to sign the international petition to the UN asking them to reach an international agreement to tackle climate change and poverty. We want world leaders to cut carbon emissions to keep global temperature rise below the dangerous threshold of 1.5°C, and to prevent climate change pushing people deeper into poverty. CAFODs part of this petition will be delivered to David Cameron ahead of the UN talks in December, and then joined with the international petition to be handed over during the UN talks in Paris.

Sign the petition online here

Download a copy for you parish, school, or group

Set up parish study sessions on Laudato Si’ 

Fr Edu also spoke about environmental action in the Phillipinnes, which is heavily affected by climate change. Continue reading

Para sa mga Pinoy, 12 July


Join us on Sunday 12 July to hear Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of NASSA (Caritas Philippines), give updates about Typhoon Haiyan and pray for justice in the Philippines.

Fr Edu will give the homily at a 10:30am Mass and a 12pm mass with a Filipino choir at Our Lady of Victories Kensington High Street, W8 6SA. You are also invited to join us in the parish hall after the 12pm mass for food and conversation. For more information about this opportunity contact Maria Elena Arana by emailing or phone 0207 095 5417.

You can also see Father Edu for a Rebuilding Justice event of talks and workshops on Saturday 11 July The day will end with an optional mass with Father Edu and is sure to an excellent experience. For more information on how to attend please see the earlier blog post or to book your place visit