Discover Pope Francis’ invitation to “Rejoice and Be Glad” on November 24th

Join us to pray and share on Pope Francis’ “Gaudete et Exsultate” (Rejoice and Be Glad) on November 24th, from 10am to 4pm, . The retreat will be hosted at Romero House, 55 Westminster bridge road, London, SE1 7JB. Please bring a shared vegetarian lunch.

On Saturday November 24th, we’ll be reflecting on how to be holy in today’s modern worlds, as well as looking at some of the idea’s in the Pope’s new document “Gaudete et Exsultate” or “Rejoice and be Glad.” He encourages us to open our eyes, ears and hearts to the words of the gospel and expand our limited horizons.

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Join CAFOD and others at our retreat to explore the journey of faith

Register here

In this document, Pope Francis celebrates the simplicity of life’s daily activities and how they can be a window to our holiness and a way for us to channel the values of the Beatitudes. He celebrates the uniqueness and individuality of us all and reminds us that we all have agency and power to shift things that happen in our world. But, the way we carry out our daily activities can also expose to us how we separate ourselves from holiness, such as how our addiction to consumption could make spending time with God a ‘painful exercise’.

Julie from Rochester who has attended many CAFOD events says, “I cannot recommend CAFOD events highly enough. Over the years I’ve benefited greatly by participating in justice and peace assembly meetings and workshops and retreats on various themes.  They always prove to be inspiring occasions and I feel we need to prioritise such events more in our busy itineraries.  Why? Because they provide us with knowledge, social catholic teaching and prayer, providing guidance and examples of how we might help build the Kingdom of God together through personal lifestyle changes, and participation within our parish and wider communities.”

Take a look at our invitation video on Facebook and Twitter

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Eat some soup and transform lives!

Tomorrow is CAFOD Lent Fast Day. Join with fellow Catholics across Southwark and eat some soup to transform lives tomorrow or on any other day.

Lent is about transforming our own lives and other people’s lives around us, it is about getting back to God and make a change, a transformation. Today we would like to let you know how eating soup could transform the lives of so many girls in some of the world’s poorest country.

How does it work? Invite your friends, family or fellow parishioners for a “Simple Lunch”. It’s a lunch where you and other people get together for a simple lunch of soup and bread, and donate to CAFOD the money you would have used for eating out. This money goes towards our Lent Campaign.

What should you know about “Simple Lunch”? It originates from the three pillars of lent, which are praying, fasting and almsgiving. When you get together, you can pray collectively, fast collectively; through the simple meal you have. Then finally give together, as you donate the money you would have used to eat out. This is an opportunity to put your faith into action and change your life and the lives of those around you. Fancy getting involved?

What is CAFOD’s Lent appeal this year? It focuses on bringing clean water to communities and households. Many countries around the world do not have direct access to clean water and therefore young girls have to travel long distances to fetch water, where usually the water is contaminated with diseases. Uganda is an example of this, almost one in four people in Uganda do not have access to safe water. For 14-year-old Proscovia, this meant that she had to collect water for her family, missing hours of school. She almost had to give up her education entirely. This is a prime example of the devastating effects that having no access to clean water can lead too. Proscovia is denied of two fundamental human rights, which is the right to access clean water and the right to an education. Through your involvement in the “Simple Lunch” experience you will be able to transform the lives of people like Proscovia, where the money that you donate can help provide clean, safe water to people living in poverty. This water means so much: enough to drink; freedom from disease, sanitation and dignity; time saved. For Proscovia, water meant an education, and a chance to follow her dreams. The dream of becoming an engineer and because of your donations, she can now fulfil this dream. Look at how much your involvement changes lives, you have the power to make a change and transform the lives of girls just like Proscovia. For more information please watch Proscovia’s video.

Here at our Southwark volunteer centre, many of our volunteers have been participating in the simple lunch, by having tomato soup and bread for lunch. Also, we know that some of our parishes within Southwark are organising the simple lunch during this lent period, lots of people are involved, so why don’t you? Find your local parish in Southwark, call a friend or do it at home with your family! To make life a bit easier for you when participating in the “Simple Lunch”” here is a recipe for a delicious tomato soup!

Tomato Soup
2 Cans of 800g peeled tomatoes
3 Carrots
2 leeks
1 Onion
1 branch of celery
2 litres of water
Seasoning e/g 4 vegetable stock cubes or basil, salt

Leave to cook for 45 minutes and blend everything together.

Have this soup with fresh bread and enjoy your simple lunch! Take time to pray dwelling in God’s presence.

Finally , as much as your CAFOD donations would help provide access to clean water , it will also allow for the people to experience Gods power and able to experience God in a way in which they have not before. John 4:14 says but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” As well as providing them with physical water, we are providing them with a spiritual water that allows for them to always have direct access to it and it will never run out! You will be able to do this, all you need to do is get involved and take part in the simple lunch. You can transform a life.

Thank you for Feyi Odesola for her contribution in writing this blog.