Skipton: St Stephen’s Parish prepare for Family Fast Day

Yesterday morning, Father Pat along with parishioners of St Stephen’s Catholic Church in Skipton welcomed Madeline Woods and Bronagh Daly to their Sunday mass to speak about CAFOD, assist with the children’s liturgy and also deliver a Family Fast Day briefing session after mass.

The gospel story on Sunday, told us of how the disciples had faith and trust in Jesus to cast their nets after many failed attempts, and as a result they hauled in a bountiful catch of fish. The children in the liturgy class at St Stephen’s shared with the congregation how they role-played spreading their nets and catching fish based on the gospel, with a catch of their own fish cut out from coloured paper, as well as learning about families in Bangladesh effected by climate change and who struggle to catch enough fish to eat.

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The children and their parents pledged to pray for families like Mahinur’s in Bangladesh, who will be the focus of the Family Fast Day appeal on Friday 15th March. 

CAFOD Parish Volunteer, Shelia Gregory, reflected on the day “The family friendly approach was just brilliant- reaching a different target audience as well as many more people than the usual briefings. Hopefully it will enthuse the next generation. Madeline is young, enthusiastic and so committed and was a great role model for us. Her trip to Uganda obviously affected her so much and her sharing her thoughts and feelings with us was very moving.”

lent fast day 2019

CAFOD’s ‘Step into the Gap’ volunteer Madeline spoke at the tea and coffee after mass to a gathering of parishioners, young families, CAFOD volunteer and supporters. “It was a great opportunity to share some of the experiences I have had recently in Uganda with communities who now have sustainable access to water and support with land rights. The people I met on Sunday at St Stephen’s were so welcoming and supportive and really interested to hear more about CAFOD’s work with partners in Uganda.”

Bronagh Daly, CAFOD representative for the Diocese said “It was lovely to meet so many young families who are praying for the people of Uganda and Bangladesh, as well as the many other communities CAFOD supports. It was great to spend time with young parents especially who are keen to support their children to put their faith into action and respond to the cry of the poor. I feel so energised after meeting with Brigid, Sinead and Jane and the rest of the families involved with the children’s liturgy group. I really look forward to meeting with them all again soon.”

 

If you would like Bronagh or Madeline to come along to your parish, please get in touch leeds@cafod.org.uk or call (0113) 275 9302

For more information about Family Fast Day prayer, campaign and fundraising resources please click here

 

Uganda Trip for our Gapper: Bon Voyage Madeline

Our Gapper Madeline will be heading off to Uganda this weekend as part of her ‘Step into the Gap’ year of volunteering with CAFOD. Her placement is hosted 4 days per week by our partner Leeds Trinity University Chaplaincy and on a Friday, Madeline supports our schools and parish work across the Diocese of Leeds.

We asked Madeline, how she is feeling and what she is thinking about just before she sets off.

madeline before uganda trip coffee on the landing

The Chaplaincy team at LTU share a cuppa with Madeline before she departs to Uganda

“My main hope for my trip to Uganda is in what I can bring back to the UK. I will have a unique opportunity which will allow me to learn not just stories, but about the lives of those almost 6,000 miles away. I will then be able to share this snapshot of life with others when I return to the UK, hopefully encouraging people to continue their amazing support of CAFOD.

There is often a divide between prayer and service for a lot of Catholics, myself included. Prayer is one thing, which in my experience is usually quiet and often alone. Service is something entirely different, and focuses on relationships with people rather than a relationship with God. I feel that my time in Uganda will help to change this view. I will be seeing people live their faith, helping others as a service not just to humanity and the world, but also God. I am hoping to share this change in view, as I feel it is important that the connection is made between our relationships with others and our relationship with God.

“It is true that the primacy belongs to our relationship with God, but we cannot forget that the ultimate criterion on which our lives will be judged is what we have done for others.” Gaudete et Exsultate; Pope Francis 2018

 

When I return from Uganda, I am going to be running a workshop on this topic at Youth 2000 at Leeds Trinity University. In Uganda I will be able to see people truly living their faith, and really living the values set out in the Bible. I will be a living link between the communities in Uganda and those in the UK. I am taking messages of hope to Uganda from those in Leeds, both at schools and at the university. I hope to also bring messages back from those being supported by CAFOD overseas.

I do, of course, also have many hopes for the time I spend in Uganda. I hope to experience a culture hugely different to my own, meet some incredible people and truly get to know the work CAFOD and partners do.

If you would like to book Madeline for a talk or a workshop at your parish or school, please let us know leeds@cafod.org.uk or call (0113) 275 9302

For more information on our ‘Step into the Gap’ programme take a look here

Young Harrogate parishioners inspire us to live simply this Christmas

Krista from St Aelred’s in Harrogate got in touch with us today to let us know about their entry into the Christmas tree display

The children’s liturgy at St Aelred’s Church in Harrogate entered the annual Christmas tree display at St John’s Church in Knaresborough on behalf of CAFOD.

The tree was called ‘Tree to Care For our Common Home; Earth’ and is based on the CAFOD campaign for Global healing and Pope Francis’ call on the damage being inflicted on our common home and how we need to make urgent lifestyle changes to protect the planet, improve quality of life and prevent poverty.

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All the beautiful decorations were hand made by the children using recycled waste. The trees will be on display from the 1st-9th December.

 

If you would like to know more about how your parish can live more simply this Christmas click here or get in touch with us here in the volunteer center leeds@cafod.org.uk or call (0113) 275 9302