Sun 20th December 2020: St Mary’s Menston School Chaplain joins CAFOD ‘Journey to the Manger’

Lay Chaplain, Julia Findley from St Mary’s Catholic Secondary school in Menston will be joining CAFOD staff and supporters for some light prayer and reflection 6pm this Sunday on the themed live sessions called ‘Journey to the Manger’

The live prayer and reflection sessions have been hosted every week by Dioceses in the CAFOD North East region namely Newcastle-Hexham, Hallam, Middlesbrough, Nottingham and Leeds.

To join the prayer and reflection session this Sunday at 6pm click this link and instructions on how to join live (and recorded) will be sent direct to your email.

How is coronavirus is affecting the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is still recovering from years of devastating civil war, which killed almost four million people.

Last year our Diocese, and in particular St Urban’s church in Headingley, welcomed Bernard Balibuno, Country Representative for CAFOD in DRC with open arms, to hear about the Ebola Crisis and how communities have coped. As we look back on his visit with fond memories, we are also very aware of the huge impact Coronavirus is having on the organisations and community groups Bernard works with to support.

Pictured l to r: Helen Humphries (CAFOD volunteer) Fr Gerard (St Urbans PP) Bronagh Daly (Local CAFOD worker) and Bernard Balibuno, Country Representative for CAFOD in DRC

Imagine living in a country where everything is imported from outside, and now, there is nothing coming in, where the markets need to open every day so people can survive and where you need to pay for your healthcare in cash.

Join us to hear more about the challenge of coronavirus in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In the DRC the infrastructure has been broken down for many, many years so people have relied on Church infrastructures for a long time. In the areas controlled by rebels, we are getting reports from our Church partners that people are suffering, many of whom live in areas that are hard to access .

However, there is good news, the Church is very well organised and our Church partners are there and can reach many people. There is an understanding that we as humanitarian workers, especially we as a Church institution, have the prior experience in tackling Ebola and can bring this experience to the coronavirus pandemic.

We have repurposed some of the funding we had for long-term development to put into the coronavirus response and we are supplying food to close to 2,000 households in six communities in Kinshasa. And we plan to extend this project to further communes.

To learn more about how coronavirus is affecting some communities in the DRC join our exclusive dialogue with Bernard Balibuno, Country Representative for CAFOD in DRC, and John Birchenough, Head of Humanitarian Programmes in Africa on Thursday 10 Dec 11am-midday.

If you would like to donate to the coronavirus appeal click HERE.

World Gifts from across the Diocese of Leeds

World Gifts, CAFOD’s range of virtual gifts, make a real difference to families living in poverty across the world.

Parishes and schools from across the Diocese have been learning more about how CAFOD support families living in the World’s poorest communities, they have responded with prayer activities as well as campaigning to ‘Cancel the Debt’

Another practical way to put faith into action is to purchase a class or yeargroup, parish or deanery World Gift

While we have the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown here, we can still be good neighbours to our sisters and brothers overseas by giving World Gifts as Christmas presents to family and friends.

The Keep Clean Kit gift for £6 and the Vegetable Garden gift for £10 are just two gifts that will help vulnerable families affected by the pandemic to protect and feed themselves. Let’s spread joy and hope around the world this Christmas.