Refugee Week 19-25 June

CAFOD supporters' messages of hope to refugees

CAFOD supporters’ messages of hope to refugees

This week, 19-25 June, marks Refugee Week, a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities.

CAFOD supporters have a longstanding background of supporting refugees through our appeals, and joining us in standing in solidarity with those fleeing their homes and countries.

During the Year of Mercy, CAFOD volunteers and supporters from across the Lancaster diocese showed their support to refugees by sending them messages of hope.

Holy Family parish, Warton, CAFOD group

Holy Family parish, Warton, CAFOD group

In schools and parishes across Lancaster diocese, people came together to share their messages which have been received by refugees in many places across the world, including Calais, Athens, Lesbos, Lebanon, South Sudan and Colombia.

One particularly powerful message of hope, sent from one year eight student in our region, was: “If you are Christian, God will be with you.  If you are Muslim, Allahu Akbar.”

Fr Stephen blessing the Lancaster Lampedusa Cross at St Peter's Cathedral

Fr Stephen blessing the Lancaster Lampedusa Cross at St Peter’s Cathedral

This refugee week we keep those still seeking refuge in our thoughts and prayers and thank everyone who sent a message of hope. Your messages were received with gratitude.

We have written a prayer pilgrimage that can be completed with the Lampedusa cross in your own parish.  The prayer pilgrimage is an hour long but can be shortened, and finishes with parishioners writing their own messages of hope to show they are standing with refugees.

If you are interested in doing this, please contact your local volunteer centre on 01772 733310 or email lancaster@cafod.org.uk

Warton parishioners hold special Lent service to fundraise for East African communities

Holy Family CAFOD team

Holy Family CAFOD team

Warton parishioners have held a prayer service which has helped to raise over £200 to help millions of people facing starvation in East Africa.

On 7 April, the Holy Family CAFOD team, Warton, organised a Lenten prayer service to help raise funds for the aid agency’s East Africa Appeal. A large group gathered for the prayer service where attendees reflected on the crisis, whilst listening to parish members from the CAFOD team talk about each of the individual countries that the crisis has affected.

After the prayer service, everyone was invited to write a message for people in East Africa on a leaf – which was then hung on a tree, as an act of solidarity.

CAFOD volunteer Hayley Benyon, who helped organise the event, said:

“From six-years-old to 80 years young – our CAFOD team all felt compelled to take time out to pray together, for the families suffering due to climate change and conflict. CAFOD is our “faith in action”, helping people in desperate need – we also prayed for Yemen which is close to our hearts.

“We are encouraged by the fact that CAFOD and its partners are distributing aid and offering solidarity grants to families in need. One of our parishioner’s mothers wrote a poem about CAFOD 20 years ago, which her daughter read to end our service and it is still relevant in 2017.”

In East Africa, there are currently over 16 million people in need of urgent food and other life-saving assistance. Despite the challenges, CAFOD makes sure that aid reaches the families who are most in need, through the network of trusted local organisations which CAFOD works with in South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

CAFOD Director Chris Bain said:

“We would like to say a huge thanks to the communities in England and Wales who have given generously, coming together to help communities affected by drought and conflict.”

“The generosity of the British population as a whole has also been heart-warming. CAFOD is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), whose East Africa Crisis Appeal has raised over £42 million.”

Donate to CAFOD’s East Africa Appeal Crisis 

 

Lancashire parishioners join a pilgrimage to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.

Catholics from the Diocese of Lancaster, and from across the North East of England, brave the high tides of Holy Island to raise awareness of the Refugee Crisis.  

walking-the-partially-flooded-pilgrimage

Over 150 pilgrims walking in the North Sea

Over 150 parishioners from across the Diocese of Lancaster and the North East of England came together on Saturday 10th September to take part in a pilgrimage. Parishioners walked knee-deep in the North Sea to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, holding a Lampedusa Cross. People travelled from as far as Lancaster and Leeds to walk the route and reflect on the refugee crisis.

Sicilian carpenter Francesco Tuccio made rough crosses from the wreckage of a boat carrying refugees that sank off the island of Lampedusa. The crosses were offered to survivors as a symbol of their rescue and a sign of hope.  Continue reading