What an amazing and inspiring day!! On Saturday 28th January, 28 folk from Lancaster Diocese formed part of the congregation in a packed Westminster Cathedral to give thanks for the work of CAFOD over the past 50 years.
Some travelled down to London by train early in the morning, and despite the unforeseen tragic fatality on the line, which delayed the journey by two hours, spirits were not dampened.
At the last minute, plans to visit Romero House, CAFOD’s headquarters were set aside for some. But others remained determined to dash across London to see the building and meet many of the staff, volunteers and some of our partners from overseas, even if it was only for 20 minutes!
The Mass at the Cathedral was inspiring, with The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols as the main celebrant. The excellent homily from Bishop John Arnold can be read here
A ‘call to recommitment’ came at the end of the Mass from Margaret Mwaniki, one of CAFOD’s trustees whose home country is Kenya. She stated, “In my country, CAFOD stood by us during and after our darkest hours in the 2007 post-election violence. The organisation has supported over half a million people affected by the East Africa food crisis. And in my work, I’m heartened to see what just £1 can mean to someone. I thank you for this.”
Paul and Anne Bradley, from St John’s Parish in Poulton made a weekend of their visit to London. “Anne and I felt very privileged and humbled at being invited to Westminster Cathedral last Saturday,” said Paul, “What a brillant Mass and what inspired speakers and excellent music,but most of all, what caring and loving people. It was also a great joy to visit the CAFOD offices and to meet the deeply commited people who work there. God’s love flowed like a river.”
Four students from the thriving CAFOD Group at Cardinal Newman College in Preston: Ellie, Roisin, Fatimah and Rumaisa spent a couple of days with CAFOD’s Youth Team in London and were perfect young leaders as they actively contributed to the celebration of this special Mass.
I felt very proud, and humbled to be at the Mass and to be able to continue with you, and alongside you, the legacy left by those 4 inspirational ladies who started what has now become CAFOD. There’s still much to be done, but the Holy Spirit never fails. Holly, a 17 year old who visited some of CAFOD’s projects in Nairobi, Kenya spoke eloquently and confidently at the Mass when she said “If you believe in making the world a better place, you need to act on what you believe in. Do something about it.”
With thanks for all that you continue to do and for who you are.