Sowing seeds of goodness in our human family

In his new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis writes of ‘dark clouds over a closed world’, evoking the uncertainty we have about the future. We are affected here in the diocese of Southwark. Millions more vulnerable families around the world are now struggling with food shortages and loss of income as a result of coronavirus.

New Paths of Hope

Emergency Support to Peruvians and Venezuelan migrants with food and medicines supplies

Pope Francis reminds us that ‘despite these dark clouds’ there are ‘new paths of hope’. He tells us ‘God continues to sow abundant seeds of goodness in our human family.’ The generosity of CAFOD’s supporters is proof of these seeds of goodness. In Brazil, CAFOD’s partners are helping to distribute emergency food packages to families in urban areas unable to earn money and to assist farmers safely sell their produce.  In Sierra Leone, Sister Gertrude and her fellow doctors and nurses at the Handmaids Health Clinic and Maternity Unit now have personal protective equipment so they can treat patients safely. In Cambodia, migrant worker Pheng has participated in training in rice farming so that she can overcome travel restrictions and find work in her home country.

In Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis looks at the world today through the lens of the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan. Pope Francis writes ‘the parable shows us how a community can be rebuilt by men and women who identify with the vulnerability of others, who reject the creation of a society of exclusion, and act instead as neighbours, lifting up and rehabilitating the fallen for the sake of the common good.’

Lets gather as a big Church community this Harvest

CAFOD’s Family Fast Day this Harvest looks very different. Coronavirus restrictions mean our parishes in the diocese of Southwark cannot come together in all the normal ways to fundraise or gather for soup lunches or coffee mornings to support our brothers and sisters around the world.  But now, more than ever it is vital to come together as a community, even from a distance.

Find out more at www.cafod.org.uk/fastday or click on the links below to register.

CAFOD has created a programme of free events between Thursday 8 and Sunday 11 October to enable people to gather online as a big Church community. Everyone is welcome and there is something for everyone. Please invite your friends and family. Let us recognise Christ in our abandoned or excluded brothers and sisters in the global South and respond to Pope Francis’ call to ‘care for the needs of every man and woman, young and old, with the same fraternal spirit of care and closeness that marked the Good Samaritan.’

A Harvest Like no other Programme.

  • Join the Harvest Assembly for Schools. Watch live at 9.30am on Thursday 8 October
  • Listen to a live update about CAFOD’s coronavirus response with International Programme Director, Maria Gonzales at 11am on Friday 9 October Book your place
  • Bishop Peter Brignall will celebrate Family Fast Day Mass, livestreamed from 6pm on Friday 9 October. Register to join our Mass
  • CAFOD’s new Global Family Food Event is at 12-1pm, Saturday 10 October. Have fun, eat some delicious food, and make a donation to transform the lives of people in poverty. Find out more
  • Get a team together or enter solo for the Harvest Like No Other Quiz at 7-8pm on Saturday 10 October. Register here
  • A special Harvest edition of CAFOD’s popular Children’s Liturgy Live is at 10am on Sunday 11 October, with a special guest from Sierra Leone. Register here
  • Prayer and reflection:At 7pm on Sunday 11 October,Bishop John Arnold will reflect on Pope Francis’ catechesis, Healing the World, as well as the new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti Book your place

‘On the Move’ helps young people share a refugee’s journey

On the Move’ is an exciting interactive way for children and young people to share a refugee family’s journey to safety. It is a great way for our young people to experience a little of what it means to leave your home and seek refuge in another country.

Students working on the 'On the Move' exercises. They were prompted to work as a family and learn what a refugee's journey would look like.

Students working on the ‘On the Move’ exercises. They were prompted to work as a family and learn what a refugee’s journey would look like.

As part of a day organised by Southwark Diocesan Education Commission, helped by CAFOD School Volunteers, students were invited to take part in the ‘On the Move’ activity. Maria Chiara, a CAFOD volunteer from Italy joined the children and here she describes how they were led through a family’s journey to safety.

“The young people were grouped into refugee families and chose who would be mum, dad, granny or children.

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Organising Your Own Soup Lunch for Harvest Fast Day

6 October 2017 marks this year’s Harvest Fast Day, which serves to generate funds to support our partners in El Salvador to fight injustices there. Sidney Magdaong, a CAFOD intern, describes how you can get involved by making your own soup lunch.

With Harvest Day approach quickly, many of our volunteers are hard at work as ever to make this Fast Day a successful one. A successful Fast Day derives from successful fundraising, and CAFOD provides several fundraising resources to kick-start the process. One of the best ways you can get involved in the effort is by organising your own soup lunch.

Discover more ways you can volunteer for this year’s Fast Day

soup lunch blog

CAFOD staff and volunteers enjoying their own soup lunch

How do I get started? Organising a soup lunch always starts with a plan: first, you will need a team who can help. you can ask your friends and family to help buy ingredients and cook a variety of soups (make sure that the cooks abide by food safety guidelines, and ensure that all soups are labelled clearly for those with allergies!). To save on costs, ask your local supermarket or bakery if they would be willing to donate any supplies that can help out. Working alongside your community goes a long way, and it brings people together in the process.

Check out our how-to guide, which summarizes how you can get started

Second, the venue must be decided.  Soup lunches can be done at your own home, as long as there is enough room for everyone to fit! If you decide to host the soup lunch at your school or your parish, make sure you ask for permission beforehand, and if they can provide you with the necessary catering services.

After that, you’re almost set! The only thing left to do is to spread the word about your event. CAFOD has advertising resources that can help make your soup lunch a successful one. Put up posters around your community, invite your friends and family, etc.; anything it takes to get people involved. Donations from your soup lunch can then be sent to CAFOD, which will tremendously fuel our efforts to support our partners in El Salvador.

Learn more about the message that CAFOD is sending to farmers in El Salvador

Thus, the most important thing to keep in mind is the mission that you are serving.

04 Tuesday Endimel y Marti-14

Martir, an El Salvadorian farmer and partner to CAFOD, holding his crop

Sharing a soup lunch with your community resembles the community that CAFOD is striving to provide for the many El Salvadorian farmers who are struggling to yield fruitful harvests. Through the giving of yourself and of your community, you are planting new, fresh seeds for farmers in El Salvador, thus reaping crops that will provide a better life and stronger hope for them.