This Harvest, make sure you’re involved with CAFOD’s Family Fast Day. There are loads of resources to use and help – from Fast Day posters and prayers and the brilliant ‘How To’ guide, to the Harvest 2019 video and children’s Liturgy. See here to download and use any of the resources.
Within the CAFOD Harvest Fast Day Short Talk you can give at your parish, is the story of Fabiano:
“14-year-old Fabiano is clever and kind and dreams of becoming a doctor. Every morning, he wakes before sunrise and walks three miles in the dark to collect water for his mum. He gets home, eats a meagre breakfast, and goes straight to school. Although he’s often tired and hungry, Fabiano studies hard. He’s determined to get a good education and make his mum proud.
Like many children, Fabiano is frightened of the dark. Sadly, his fears of something bad happening in the shadows are all too real. Early one morning, as Fabiano was carrying water home, a stranger emerged from the darkness and asked for a drink. Eager to help, Fabiano handed over his full water container. The man took a sip, then poured Fabiano’s water away and attacked him. Fabiano was terrified. He abandoned the water can and ran in fear of his life. He made it home to his mum who held him tight and thanked God he was alive.
I’m happy to tell you those long dark walks are now over for Fabiano. Thanks to Family Fast Day donations like yours, a solar powered water pump has been installed in his village. Today, it takes Fabiano just four minutes to collect water. Which means he has more time and energy for school – and having fun with friends. “We knew life would change when we had water near our homes,” says Fabiano with a smile.
We were there for Fabiano, but unfortunately CAFOD cannot fund one in three requests we get for help. So how can we reach those children still risking their safety – and education – to get water? It starts with small changes”.
‘Hands On’ is a brilliant CAFOD programme which supports communities as they undertake a three year project, and lets a parish, school or community group follow their progress. Donations directly fund the work, and regular updates are sent to the supporting group on how things are progressing. Because they will directly fund the work, regular gifts are essential to make these projects a success. The latest CAFOD Hands On project is in the Magdalena Medio region in Colombia, South America.
Parishes, Schools or Community Groups can sign up to Hands On Magdalena Medio, and over the next three years this community will be followed as they transform their lives, through peace building activities. Regular project updates are sent from Colombia, so its easy to see how regular gifts are making a difference. The project will begin by running peace building workshops in 34 schools, teaching young people how to avoid a life of violence. They will be taught how to share all they have learnt with their families and neighbours. Together, CAFOD aims to reach 5,000 people in total.
The CAFOD group at Woodchester Priory parish here in the Clifton Diocese, is doing just that. CAFOD parish volunteer Angela Middleditch sent us these photos to show us their parish display for CAFOD, which also includes information on the upcoming Harvest Fast Day, the Creation Celebration (Climate Change) masses which can be held, and World Gifts for Advent. Fantastic work Woodchester Priory – and thanks so much for sending in the photos, Angela!
Just a reminder that it is not too late to hold a CAFOD Creation Celebration mass to raise awareness of the Climate Change campaign, at your parish or school, as we have until the end of the year to do so, and we are still in the Season of the Church of Creation tide – as well as Harvest being just around the corner!
We know that Climate change affects our health, our homes, our heritage and our beautiful landscapes. It ruins the work we do to fight poverty and to lead better lives. We have made huge progress on climate change, but things are urgent now. We need to work together to go further, faster to end climate change. Together we Catholics can turn the tide. We can treat our home with respect by leading the way, taking responsibility and forging new habits. We can call on politicians to go further and faster with emissions cuts. The CAFOD Creation Celebration mass encompasses all these things – see here for information on how to organise and run one at your school or parish.
Recently, Doug Lowe, CAFOD volunteer for the parish of St Teresa of Lisieux in Taunton, ran one of these masses – which you can read about in one of our earlier blogs – but recently sent us another photo from the event.
I thought you might like to see this photo from the talk I gave at St Georges and St Theresa churches in Taunton.
I gave away free pollinator plants 200+ and 45 homemade bee hotels – we also had people sign the petition to the government, but not sure of number yet as some of the sheets were taken away for others to sign too.
I also arranged for our M.P. Rebecca Pow to go into St Georges School Taunton on the 28th to see the children as they wanted to talk to her about climate change.
The picture is of one of our young parishioners, Natalie, taken by Natalie’s mum – she is happy for CAFOD to use it – showing Natalie with one of the big hotels I made; Natalie also took some of the plants but could not hold them!
God Bless, Doug”.