It has been a challenging year. For many of us, it’s a hard year we’ll look back on recognise God’s love and care as he carried us through. For others it has been a time when we’ve rediscovered our love of nature or the simple joys of life. In the middle of all this, the time for Family Fast Day is back. Lets discover the signs of hope it brings us.
Family fast Day looks different
Family Fast Day this Harvest looks different. Our church buildings have fewer people in them and we can’t do certain things we always took for granted. I miss the coffee morning after church. But some things haven’t changed. And they won’t change. We know that each person, especially the poorest amongst us, matters. We know that every life is created by God and is precious. And we know that our love of our neighbour reflects our love of God. We also know that, sadly, countless people throughout our world face chronic food shortages, malnutrition and poverty.
This year schools and parishes, Catholic networks and religious orders and countless individuals are doing what they can to help those in need, showing that their love is practical, not abstract. It is easy to see in our own families that if one person suffers, we all suffer. We also know that we are a global family, each of us brothers and sisters, each of us precious and loved.
A Fast Day giving signs of hope during a challenging year
Many will support our work by donating online while others will text CAFOD to 70085 to donate £10* to our Coronavirus Appeal, the focus for our appeal this Harvest. Our volunteers are trying extra hard to let people know about the need and inspire them to respond. Angela and Colin Dowling, from Bromley, for example helped us calling some parish volunteers to tell them about Harvest. Ben Warren from St Vincent de Paul, Battersea Altenberg in Clapham is doing a special ride sponsored by people around him. Barbara Leigh from St Thomas More in Dulwich has once again made sure she could display the Harvest poster, the envelops, the announcement in the newsletter. Karen Suddaby and the J&P group from St Mary/Our Lady Help of Christians from Greenwich has put up 6 copies of the CAFOD family fast day poster on the glass doors leading into the church. The posters are in 3 locations, put up back to back so that people can read them both on the way out and on the way in.
It’s such a sign of hope that our communities are still determined to support our work, to help those in need, even when many of us are in need ourselves. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for expressing your faith and sharing the love of God with people you’ve never met.
Join us from home for Harvest, our door is open
Many people won’t be able to get to church this Harvest. If you would like to join us online and enjoy being church with us in prayer and community we would be delighted to open our doors and welcome you in.
We have virtual events to suit everyone, all of which can be found on our website cafod.org.uk/fastday.
- Harvest assembly for schools – Thursday 8 October, 9.30am (primary) and 10:00 (secondary)
- Fast Day live talk on the coronavirus crisis– Friday 9 October, 11am
- Family Fast Day Mass – Friday 9 October, 6pm
- Global Family Food event – Saturday 10 October, 12pm
- ‘Harvest Like No Other’ quiz – Saturday 10 October, 7pm
- Children’s liturgy– Sunday 11 October, 10am
- Prayer and reflection with Bishop John Arnold, Sunday 11 October 7pm
Share the word about Family Fast Day
Please do let others know about these events, particularly if they’ve not been able to get to church recently and might be missing it. Maybe you could send them the links and help them get online? If you use Facebook or have a parish WhatsApp group, maybe you could share CAFOD’s posts about the events and encourage your friends to join. This Harvest, let’s try to ensure that no-one is beyond reach.