Do you want to show solidarity with the poorest communities in the world this Lent? Speaking at Mass for CAFOD is the most important thing you or someone else in your parish can do this Fast Day to stand along our brothers and sisters. Just one short talk makes a big difference in spreading the message of love and compassion this Lent.
Making a difference during Lent
Currently, we are unable to meet 1 in 3 documented requests for support received from some of the poorest people and communities, simply because we don’t have the funds to do so. Because of our global Catholic network and local presence, we have the potential to reach people and communities others can’t. As part of Caritas Internationalis, we are part of a global Church network with a local presence in 200 countries and territories. Together we make up one of the largest humanitarian networks in the world.
However, we want to be noticed by more people than those who currently notice us. Two in five (or 40% of) regular Mass goers don’t know who CAFOD are, or what we do. We know that, with your help, by speaking at mass, we can reach out to and inspire more Catholics to connect and act with us.
Standing with the poor
Last Lent, we met the Mudzemeti family, who were going hungry. Fiona Mudzemeti spends much of her day going back and forth fetching water and has little time for anything else. Her husband Peter is lucky if he earns $5 a day doing casual labour. Their youngest son Pardon, age 2, shows signs of malnutrition – with a swollen stomach.
Your generosity last Lent meant that we raised £4.3 million, which was matched by the UK government. With this funding, we can now follow through with our plan to plant a community vegetable garden in Dzimati village where Fiona and Peter can grow vegetables and also help a further 500,000 people in need.
How far does your donation go?
A few years ago, when Longora was in the late stages of pregnancy, she became seriously ill after drinking dirty water from a local river. She gave birth while she was still sick. Because of the water, her baby was also born seriously ill. She said: “Ten people died from drinking river water then. My baby died too.” It was obvious her community needed clean water and, thanks to donations from people like you, CAFOD repaired the well in her village and trained local people in how to maintain it, so they can fix it if it breaks again. Now Longora and her neighbours have a reliable supply of clean, safe water.
Standing with those who need support
Throughout the year, you’ve walked in solidarity with refugees and migrants – circling the globe an incredible four times and calling on governments to protect the human dignity of people on the move.
Dainny and his sons are among the hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced from their homes in Venezuela and have moved to Colombia. The Catholic Church has been at the forefront of helping refugees and migrants and in La Parada. The Divine Providence Soup Kitchen, a Caritas foodbank, is the only distributor of food in the area. It helped 5,000 people in the first six months of last year.
No one beyond reach of love
Amina and her family became refugees after fleeing violence in their home country. Although they have reached a refugee camp, Amina worries about her baby suffering from hunger and cold in their thin tent. Your fundraising at Advent helped to provide practical help to mums like Amina – ensuring they have emergency food and emotional support as well as seeds, tools and training to help them begin to rebuild their lives.
Help people like Amina and her daughter or Dainny and his sons by giving a short talk during mass. We have it all written for you, you just need to deliver it. Let us know how we can support you in talking to your parish friends and family this Lent.
If you can please give the short talk on a weekend either side of Fast Day – 9/10 March or 16/17 March or any other weekend in Lent that suits your Parish Priest.