Madeline looks back on her Gap year with CAFOD

We’re now in the last month of my year on CAFOD’s Step into the Gap Programme, and what a year it’s been! From school visits to vegetable quizzes, prayer breakfasts in Leeds to sitting around a fire in Moroto, Uganda, not many can claim that their last year has been so varied!

Madeline Woods with Nicole, Clementina in Uganda

Nicole, Clementina and myself. Clementina is a midwife in a health centre which is supported by CAFOD in Moroto, Uganda. She gives everything she can to her community without a second thought, including ripping up her own bedsheets to make baby blankets!

I have had so many opportunities this year that I never would have had otherwise. My trip to Uganda is the obvious big one, and the things I saw, experienced and learned on that trip will undoubtedly stay with me for the rest of my life. I have been on BBC Radio Leeds 3 times, something which this time last year would have been unimaginable. I have stood in front of a room of 180 Year 7s and spoken about CAFOD without so much as a quiver in my voice, which again, a year ago, would have had me a nervous wreck. I’ve met so many incredible people through CAFOD and through my placement at Leeds Trinity University, and am certain that I have made friends for life. My office at my placement is right next to a beautiful Chapel, too, meaning that whenever I fancy, I can pop in and take some time to sit in the quiet. My faith has developed so much from this, from having conversations with the Chaplaincy team and experiencing retreat opportunities like Youth 2000, and I am going to be leaving this role a more well-rounded and confident person.

Madeline Woods with LTU hannah and Sisters thumbs up and recycle coffee cups

Myself, Hannah (the Chaplain at Leeds Trinity), Sister Catherine Mary and Sister Thérèse at Tea on the Landing, celebrating the launch of our recyclable cups and adding our thumbs-ups to the banner for the Climate Change Lobby on June 26th.

I would like to think that I’m not the only person who has benefitted from my year as a CAFOD Gapper, as I have spoken to many people about the work that CAFOD do and what they can do to make their world a better place – with a month left to go, the official number of people I have spoken to about CAFOD is at over 1,000!

 

I’ll take this opportunity to thank everyone I have met throughout the last year. Leeds Trinity University Chaplaincy, everyone at Trinity, my fellow gappers, CAFOD Leeds, broader CAFOD staff and volunteers… the list goes on!

 

On to the next adventure…

Click the link if you would like to know more about CAFOD’s gap year programme Step into the Gap or call (0113) 275 9302 to speak to Bronagh.

19th May St Urban’s Headingley Creation Celebration Mass

On Sunday 19th May, St Urban’s Church parishioners, Fr Gerard and Parish Volunteer Helen Humphries will welcome Bernard Balibuno, CAFOD’s Country Representative from the Democratic Republic of Congo to their Creation Celebration, where they will hear updates from Bernard about how DRC communities are being supported to cope with the impacts of Climate Change. poster screen grab

The  Creation Celebration will be an opportunity for everyone to discuss and learn about how our every day lives create an unsustainable level of carbon emissions, from what we eat to what we wear and how we travel around.  The Creation Celebration is a time to come together as a Catholic community and appreciate God’s creation and vow to look after the planet as individuals and as a community.

There will be fun activities and discussion after mass with a petition for everyone to sign to ask our Prime Minister to do more to lower carbon emissions which contribute to Climate Change.

Everyone is welcome, please bring along a small plate of cakes to share as part of the celebration.

Where: St Urban’s Church, Grove Rd, Leeds LS6 4AQ
When:  10:30am Sunday 19th May 2019

Every parish in the Diocese of Leeds are invited to host a Creation Celebration, download the Organiser’s Guide here and let us know if you need any help organising the mass.

We look forward to seeing pictures from your Creation Celebration, please send any pictures to leeds@cafod.org.uk

 

19th May St Urban’s Headingley Creation Mass

Today in the volunteering centre we were visited by Father Gerard, Parish Priest at St Urbans church in Headingley, Leeds. We helped Fr Gerard prepare for the upcoming creation mass on the 19th of May at St Urbans. We had a look at the Creation Mass Organiser’s Guide with Fr Gerard, it has ideas about the hymns, prayers and readings which reflect on protecting God’s creation.

poster screen grab

As a communications volunteer for CAFOD, I am very interested in this because I have never seen a creation mass before and hope to come along. It would be great to meet other volunteers especially from other parishes who will hopefully be inspired to do this in their own church communities.

So, if you are a parish volunteer, and like me, you would like to see what a creation mass is all about please come along and join us at this creation mass celebration on Sunday the 19th of May at 10:30am and afterwards for refreshments and discussions about climate change. There will also be a opportunity to sign a petition to ask the UK government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2045.

“We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”

Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ #14

 

To organise your Creation Celebration, just follow these three steps:

>Step 1: Hold a Creation Mass to give special thanks for the gift of creation and pray for our common home

>Step 2: Fill in a petition to the Prime Minister calling for further, faster climate action

Step 3: Share food after your Mass and get your community talking about how we should respond to the climate crisis

 

For more information contact leeds@cafod.org.uk or call 0113 275 9302 to discuss your Creation Mass ideas with Bronagh