In the Spirit of Friendship and Love

A reflection on speaking at Mass for Lent Fast Day by CAFOD Volunteer, Sheila Faucher:

Shiela Faucher, CAFOD Volunteer

Sheila Faucher, CAFOD Volunteer

This year’s 2015 Lent Fast Day talk was given at the parish of Our Lady Help of Christians in Mottingham and All Saints in New Eltham on the weekend of 21st and 22nd February. The parish priest Father John O’Callaghan had the task of conducting two Masses on Saturday evenings between 5pm and 6.30pm in both churches.

I have given a CAFOD Lent talk at both churches before and was delighted to be asked if I would be willing to do this again. Father John was extremely generous and allowed me to speak after the Gospel, in place of the homily, which meant I was able to get that important message to the congregation concerning the global threat of climate change and what this means for the most vulnerable communities around the world. I also spoke about the government pledge of matching pound for pound donations of up to 5million pounds through the UK Aid Match Scheme.

The wonderful Fast day display Sheila made for Our Lady Help of Christians.

The wonderful Fast Day display Sheila made for Our Lady Help of Christians.

Within the liturgical readings for that weekend; in Genesis 9:8-15, we were called to remember ‘God’s covenant with humanity’ and within the Gospel of Mark 1:12-15, when Jesus faced forty days of temptation in the wilderness, we were again called to face our personal temptations during lent as we are asked to reflect, remember and ‘grow closer to God and our neighbours throughout the world’.

Between the 9am and 11.15am Masses on Sunday I was invited quite spontaneously to a lovely couple’s home for tea and biscuits, I felt truly humbled by this gesture of christian kindness and charity and I remembered to thank June and Peter at the end of the 11.15am Mass. After my talk I really felt that it was their Christian witness to me that prompted individuals to come forward after the Mass to volunteer for CAFOD as parish contacts.

God Bless the people of the parishes of Our Lady Help of Christians & All Saints.

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