To celebrate National Volunteers Week, the Leeds blog is being taken over today by parish volunteer Vincent Borg from north Leeds. Here he tells us how his journey with CAFOD began.
” My name is Vincent Borg and I’m the parish CAFOD volunteer for St.John Mary Vianney, a large parish in north Leeds. For me it’s a bit like having a small part-time job, even though I’ve been retired from teaching maths and working for the Local Authority for more than six years now.
When I was a schoolboy in north London I belonged to YCS (Young Christian Students) whose mantra was See, Judge, Act. That’s stayed with me all my life. For many years, on and off, I was a member of the parish Justice and Peace Group. This later became the parish CAFOD group. When two parishes merged into one more than five years ago, our two small CAFOD groups combined giving a membership of five or six parishioners, two of whom were schools volunteers. The new parish priest was happy to let us get on with it. Membership has changed over the years but the group still meets three or four times every year to make decisions on behalf of the parish regarding CAFOD projects and appeals.
We have a long-standing parish tradition of collecting for CAFOD on a weekly basis, using the CAFOD envelopes at the Offertory, raising over £10,000 every year. We have more than fifty parish ‘CAFOD Supporters’ who receive email updates about our projects and minutes of meetings. I’m an organizer by nature. l devise and work systems on the basis of ‘maximum return for minimal effort’. My role is very much determined by the practical ways that we, as the parish CAFOD group, choose to undertake our Christian responsibilities to support the poor in distant places. For me, being a CAFOD volunteer is the ‘act’ bit of the YCS mantra and I am truly blessed to be a part of their volunteering community.”