Romero Centenary Mass at St. George’s Cathedral on Saturday 12th August

By Nicole Crosbourne – CAFOD Volunteer

This Saturday, 12th August the Archbishop Romero Trust will be holding a centenary mass at St. George’s Cathedral, to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Oscar Romero.

Blessed Oscar Romero

Blessed Oscar Romero

All throughout 2017, the charity have been celebrating the Archbishop Romero Centenary through services, events and talks taking place throughout the UK. We are very fortunate to be hosting the centenary at St. George’s Cathedral, home to the Romero Cross.

Romero stood alongside his people facing terrible oppression and violence, as they spoke out against injustice. He is remembered for his courage, his faith and above all, his great love for the poor. Romero is an inspiration today, and CAFOD is continuing to support partners in El Salvador in conjunction with this year’s Harvest Fast Day Appeal. Just as Romero did, CAFOD knows about the needs of the world’s poorest communities and aims to bring hope and compassion to them, to end poverty and injustice.

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The Romero Cross, St. George’s Cathedral

The mass will be conducted by the Principal Celebrant Archbishop Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, Postulator of Romero’s Cause in Rome, will be visiting especially for the occasion and giving a homily as part of the mass. After, there will be a reception taking place in Amigo Hall, Lambeth Road, where refreshments and a toast will be served. Romero Trust will also be showing an excellent new Romero film at 2.30pm from Swiss-Italian TV.

All are welcome to attend and join us in commemorating the life, martyrdom and legacy of Archbishop Romero, whilst continuing to pray for his imminent canonisation. Join us on Saturday 12th August, 12:30pm at St. George’s Cathedral, Southwark, London, SE1 7HY.

For more information, please contact Archbishop Romero Trust at  romerotrust@gmail.com, or visit their website at www.romerotrust.org.uk.

Freda’s Summer Party

By CAFOD – Southwark Office

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John and Freda

Freda and John Vine, held an afternoon tea party to fundraise for CAFOD in June. As volunteers, they organised the event in their garden, attracting numerous visitors.

We would like to warmly thank Freda for this wonderful initiative and commitment. We would also  to give a special thanks to all those who helped. Including those in the kitchen who prepared food and cleared up, and the 4 young “waitresses” who attended on guests. Everyone had a lovely afternoon in Bexleyheath.

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A Selection of Cakes

Freda said “We were pleased to welcome Father Jim and Father Romanus from St. Stephen’s Church, along with about 70 other friends, neighbours, parishioners and well-behaved children. Everyone tucked into the sandwiches, cakes and the delicious scones, courtesy of our friend and CAFOD co supporter, Jo Stanton. The tea and coffee were nearly as popular as the soft drinks and water!”

“A total of £626.60 has been raised for CAFOD’s Partners. This included some donations we were pleased to receive from people unable to attend, and from the sale of some plants. £30 worth of donations went to the Greenwich and Bexley Hospice.”

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Plants for Sale

Overall, the afternoon was a success. “I spent wonderful afternoon in John and Freda’s lovely garden, eating a delicious afternoon and enjoying the company of all the parishioners that attended.  John and Freda do so much for CAFOD and numerous other charities, and their warmth and enthusiasm was infectious.  It was great to see that they had solar panels on their roof and water butts in the garden – care for God’s creation in action!” Jessica Coffin from CAFOD. “It was so warm that people were seeking shady parts of the garden, and even once the day had cooled down, nobody seemed to want to go home!”

Many thanks for all those who generously donated raffle prizes. We look forward to seeing you all again this time next year.

If you are inspired by Freda and John’s successful fundraiser, we encourage you to organise your own event within your parish and raise money for CAFOD.

 

Acclaimed Electronic Duo Inspire Greenwich Students to Act on Climate Change

By CAFOD – Southwark Office

Thanks to Hal St. John and Cherrie Anderson, founders of the electronic band ‘Ooberfuse’ from Woolwich, students from St. Ursula’s Convent School in Greenwich had a musical workshop on renewable energy.

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Students showcasing their lyrics

The critically acclaimed duo visited the school on Monday 10th July, giving students the opportunity to learn about CAFOD’s latest Power To be campaign and the significance of renewable energy for the world’s poorest communities. The students wrote their own lyrics, inspired by the campaign, and even had the chance to sing and showcase their work with Ooberfuse. The school hall may have been a contrast to the band’s latest venues, the Ministry of Sound and the O2, but everyone had a fantastic time.

Both Hal and Cherrie were really pleased with how successful the day was. Hal was especially impressed by the lyrics written by the students. “It is always a tall order to make scientific problems attractive to a young audience, as usually their minds are anywhere else. But it helped that we focused it around things that they already knew about.  The real test was when they were writing their own lyrics but when they read them back and they were such powerful lyrics, it was great to see.”

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Learning about ‘Power To Be’

Ooberfuse was formed in 2010, and within just a few years their quirky and upbeat songs have been praised by many, including Boy George, The Guardian and BBC 6’s Tom Robinson. Their music has since taken them all over the world from Madrid, where they played for two million young Catholics on World Youth Day, to Iraq, where they played at a refugee camp in Erbil. Both social justice and inequality are strong themes within their music. They are also soon to release a song about the plight of refugees. Whilst promoting social justice and their Catholic faith through music, the Ooberfuse was motivated to get involved with CAFOD’s work, and run a workshop for the students at St. Ursula’s Convent School.

Cherrie was originally from the Philippines where Typhoon Haiyan struck in 2013. “Climate change was just an idea but when Typhoon Haiyan hit my hometown it became so real. That is when we decided to devote our music to social justice and raising awareness about important issues.  After the typhoon CAFOD  were one of the first aid agencies on the ground responding to the need, so it’s great to be involved with them now.”

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‘Power To Be’ display, created by students 

Through our Power To Be campaign, communities have been encouraged to lobby the World Bank to invest more in local renewable energy. Despite the fight to reduce worldwide poverty, only less than 3% of their expenditures go towards renewable energy. Through our campaign, we are asking the UK’s representative at the World Bank, Melanie Robinson, to use her influence to ensure that children everywhere have the power to achieve great things and lift themselves out of poverty, without harming the planet.

Our message is reaching many people, and thanks to a fun-packed day, students were made aware of our responsibility to be stewards for our planet. “People in places like Kenya are suffering because they do not have access to electricity. Around the world, one in six people don’t have electricity; that’s equal to 1.2 billion people and we should do something about it.” (Saumu, Year 8).

School Chaplain, Susan Elderfield, was also inspired by the duo’s message, “I don’t think we should forget the message of today; how we should look after the planet. Each one of us has a responsibility – from switching off the lights to getting involved with NGOs to becoming politicians. It’s our planet and our job to look after it.”

To engage in our Power To Be campaign, you can sign our petition online, order action cards at our shop to sign within your parish, or organise a Power To Be Liturgy to continue to raise awareness, pray and spread the message.