Family Fast Day Guide- Harvest 2019

Are you a CAFOD volunteer preparing for this year’s Family Fast Day? Read our guide below for all the dates, information and scheduling you need to be fully prepared. 

An Overview

A simple soup lunch

A simple soup lunch for Family Fast Day

This year’s Harvest Family Fast Day will take place on Friday 4th October 2019. On this date, CAFOD supporters are encouraged to have a simple soup lunch. On the weekend before this (28/29th September) or on the weekend after (5/6th October) CAFOD volunteers will give a talk at Mass and collect donations to help our brothers and sisters around the world.

Preparing for family fast day

  • Promote the day (Pin up a Fast Day poster, pin up a feedback poster and put an announcement in your Parish newsletter)
  • Ask some volunteers to help give out collection envelopes and prayer cards.
  • Print the children’s liturgy sheet and grace cube
  • Check that your collection envelopes have arrived (usually with your parish priest) and that there are enough. If not, please tell us straight away on 0300 011 5680.

The weekend before (28/29th September)

Either on the weekend before family fast day, or the weekend afterwards, a CAFOD volunteer will need to read out a short speech at all masses. If you do not have a CAFOD volunteer in your parish who can do this, please contact your local CAFOD volunteer centre to see if they can send a roaming speaker.

Fabiano by the water pump

Fabiano by the new water pump

The speech to read out can be found here. It focuses on the story of Fabiano, a young boy from Uganda, who had to walk for miles in dangerous conditions to fetch water for his family. While on this journey, a stranger attacked him. Thanks to CAFOD Donations, a water pump was installed in his village so he no longer has to risk his safety and education to do fetch water. However, there are many more children like Fabiano who CAFOD currently cannot afford to support, which is why we are asking for donations this family fast day.

As well as delivering the speech, it is important to give out envelopes before or after each mass of this weekend, make pens available to parishioners for the gift aid forms, and to arrange to include the Fast Day prayer and prayer of intercession during the mass.

There is also a video telling Fabiano’s story that you are welcome to download and show in your Parish if you like. You can watch and download the video here. 

Family Fast Day : Friday 4th October 2019

Soup Lunch

Parishoners hold a group soup lunch

On the day, either as a group, family or individually, please hold a simple soup lunch and say the Fast Day prayer together. How about organising a whole parish soup day? All you need to do is choose a venue, recruit helpers and tell people about it! We have a detailed guide of how to host a group soup lunch here, with a soup recipe included!.

Afterwards, collect the money you would have spent on a meal together to donate to help more children like Fabiano. You can let us know what your parish are doing at Fast Day by emailing

The weekend after (5/6th October)

On this weekend, it is important to collect the Fast Day envelopes and donations after Mass, and leave a clearly marked donation box at all church entrances.

If you did not read out the speech and say the family fast day prayers on the 28/29th September, please read out the speech and include the prayers during the masses on 5/6th October.

After the 6th October- sending the donations

Ensure the collection envelopes are emptied, and the collection is counted and checked against the Gift Aid details. Make a cheque out to CAFOD for the total. Send the donation form provided here, the cheque(s) and any Gift Aid information back to CAFOD, all together in the same envelope. Please ensure no donations are left in the envelopes. Please send your donations ASAP and please do not send cash.

Also, you can place a thank you announcement in your parish newsletter and put up the ‘thank you’ A4 poster.

We hope you have a brilliant Family Fast Day together. Please let us know if there is anything more we can do to help, or if you need any more information. For a more detailed guide to Family Fast Day, please follow this link. 

fabiano poster 1

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