November : a time to remember

November is the month of Remembrance for the Catholic community. It is a time during which we pray for our departed loved ones. While there are restrictions affecting our parishes, we will continue to honour and remember each person we have lost this past year with an online mass.

Online memorial mass to remember

CAFOD is remembering all its friends, families and supporters who passed away in a special online Memorial Mass
CAFOD is organising a special online Memorial Mass

We are holding a special online Memorial Mass on All Souls Day to pray for our supporters and loved ones who have died. During the Coronavirus pandemic it seems even more important to take the time to pray for all the departed.The mass will be celebrated by CAFOD’s Chair of Trustees, Bishop John Arnold, with music, readings and prayers from CAFOD staff and supporters. Mass will be streamed live on our CAFOD website on ALL Souls Day, Monday 2 November at 6pm. Please do join us in remembering our wonderful supporters and loved ones who may have inspired us by their generosity, personality and love for others.

Book of Remembrance

Do you have a loved one that you would like to be remembered? Celebrate their life by including their name into our online book of remembrance. They may have inspired us by their example, sustained us by their generosity, and their values, live on in our life and work today. Lets celebrate them together by including their names into our online book of remembrance. Just go to our website to add their names.

Candlelight Funds

Would  you like to create an ongoing tribute to someone special? You might like to set up a Candlelight Fund in their name. 

A Candlelight Fund is a special fund in memory of a loved one who has died, where all donations made in their memory are combined to create a beautifully lasting tribute to them. With this fund, offer hope to families living in poverty around the world. The video on the right tells you about baby Lily’s candlelight fund set up by her grand parents.

If you have any questions or would like to set up a Candlelight Fund, please get in touch with Roisin Beirne at 

A prayer for those who mourn

May you be held by the God of compassion
as you remember your loved ones today.

May God be with you in your sorrow,
and comfort you in your loss.

May your God, your family and your friends,
give you strength and confidence.

May your spirit be lifted, may your heart be filled with peace,
and may the light of God’s promise fill you with joy and hope. 


Find more prayers for remembrance on our website.

Why I volunteer for CAFOD and my son

Kathleen Szczegolski, 66, from London, has supported Catholic charity, CAFOD for many years and decided after retiring to begin volunteering in CAFOD’s Southwark Office. Here Kathy talks about her motivations and her late son, Robbie Sharp.

Volunteering in the Diocese of Southwark with CAFOD

Kathy enjoying her volunteering in the CAFOD Southwark office

In a quiet moment at CAFOD today, I thought I would start my long-awaited contribution to the CAFOD volunteer blog:

“I remember seeing the advert in my parish newsletter, the bright green logo stood out and I thought I could use my former secretarial skills to assist CAFOD, having worked in administration most of my life. I lost my only son, Robbie Sharp, in 2009, who lived with cerebral palsy from birth. Robbie needed lots of love, care and attention, which he was never short of. I was so grateful to all the volunteers who had helped Robbie, a few years later I wanted to put something back into the community.
Find out about CAFOD’s candlelight fund 

“Robbie was a remarkable, loving and very special young man, whose smile, humour and love of life were rays of sunshine in the world for everyone lucky enough to know him.

“Robbie was a remarkable, loving and very special young man whose smile, sense of humour and love of life were rays of sunshine in the world for everyone lucky enough to know him. He is with the angels now and will never be forgotten. RIP Robbie.

Robbie’s candlelight fund 

campaign, protest, advocacy, CAFOD, CAFOD southwark

Kathleen with her Justice and Peace Group

“A couple of years after Robbie died, a CAFOD speaker came to St William of York to talk about the Candlelight Fund. I felt this was an amazing idea and I opened a fund in Robbie’s name. Robbie was a wonderful young man and it is a great comfort to me to see that his memory is living on and he would be very happy to know that he is helping people around the world. There are also annual Candlelight Masses around the country and I have attended one locally which was very memorable. Robbie’s candlelight fund has raised over £4,000 now.


Find out about CAFOD’s candlelight fund 


Kathy enjoying her volunteering in the CAFOD Southwark office

“My faith and prayer life are strong, and I have always enjoyed going on retreats, mainly to the Benedictine Monastery at Worth, I felt that as well as my own spiritual well being, I wanted to act out my faith through volunteering.

“It began a great friendship with myself and CAFOD.  I volunteer one day a week and have met some wonderful people and enjoy my days volunteering every day is different. The staff have always been very friendly and not at all intimidating and I have always been thanked profusely for my work; I feel it is my pleasure.  We have enjoyed other fundraising and campaigning events.”

Become an office volunteer 


Mark and Frances



Frances Gilbert, who lives in Thornton Heath, explains why she has chosen to remember her son in this special way.

“We adopted Mark when he and our daughter, Katy, were 5. He suffered from Muscular Dystrophy but was incredibly determined. His greatest passion was fighting poverty and injustice: he couldn’t bear to think of people starving. Continue reading