Julie Valentine is a parish Volunteer at Our Lady Queen of Peace in East Sheen. She reflects on her experience of this Harvest Family Fast Day and what is coming up next for us all.
Harvest in a Nut shell
What was Harvest like this year? I heard that some parishes like St James the Great in Petts Wood achieved very substantial collections for Harvest and got a good response from their parishioners to donate via their mobile phones. Or other parishes like Our Lady of the Rosary in Sidcup managed to advertise successfully in the parish newsletter and social media. A few parishes like St Vincent de Paul, Battersea, were even brave enough to try the cashless payment with ordering some devices from CAFOD. These examples were very uplifting and show the wonderful commitment of my fellow volunteers and their parish communities.
For me though, Harvest Fast Day was disappointing and flat. With the church still not open for Sunday Mass, there were no posters, no inspiring talk at the Masses, no satisfaction of watching the pile of envelopes mount up in the collection basket. Our priest kindly circulated the CAFOD Newsletter and did his best to remind parishioners during the Zoom Mass and, to me, it all passed with scarcely a ripple …
So here we go again, I thought. Back into relative lockdown and now also face the prospect of a “non-Christmas”. How about all those people that CAFOD works with, for whom every year is probably a “non-Christmas”? They are still battling their own problems, their own helplessness, their own hopelessness… But does it have to be like that? “No one beyond reach” is our motto. Time to pull up my socks and think creatively about how I can continue to do even a tiny bit for CAFOD! In my country, Jamaica, we have a saying “one-one coco fill basket” (Coco is a small root vegetable). I must try to contribute my coco.
What’s next after Harvest?
First stop : the CAFOD Website
First stop, the CAFOD website. What are other people doing? Wonderful things – I saw the runners in the marathon and heard of parishes raising thousands of pounds with sponsored runs and walks. That’s one option, maybe not for me though but my grand children! https://cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/A-Z-of-fundraising-ideasContinue reading