Global Wave of Prayer

Today Caritas Internationalis is launching the

One Human Family, Food for All

campaign on global hunger, focusing on food and the right to food.

You are warmly invited to join in the worldwide “wave of prayer”  today, with all members of the Caritas family.  The prayer wave starts on the island of Samoa and will sweep across the globe, over all continents and time zones.

Please join in this wave of prayer, at 12 noon, either on your own or with friends, or even stopping for a moment at your desk by saying the campaign prayer for an end to world hunger.

Pope Francis has recorded a special video message in support of the campaign:

 

The campaign aims to end world hunger by 2025 and our Hungry for Change campaign  feeds into it. You can find more information on the global campaign on our website and on the Caritas Internationalis website.

wave of prayer

CAFOD: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

For over 50 years CAFOD has been working in some of the hardest to reach places, during times of unrest, during and after emergencies, and working with local communities and partners. All of this is made possible due to the prayers, campaigning, fundraising and efforts of CAFOD supporters and volunteers.So, on Saturday, 13th July 2013, the CAFOD offices from the North-West held a conference in St Patrick’s church in Manchester to enable supporters from this region to learn more about CAFOD’s work overseas. At the conference Geoff O’Donoghue, head of CAFOD’s International Divsion was joined by international staff who work in Asia, Africa, and South America, as well as staff who work in the Humanitarian team.

Geoff opened the conference by sharing the story of the monkey and the fish, to explain how CAFOD tries to always seek ways of understanding situations and working with people who know what is needed to achieve the best outcomes. For me, one of the most striking things he said was: “if you have two coats, you should not be asking who you can give one to; you should be asking whose coat do you have?

Delia Keville from the Salford Diocese said: “There are tangible results with CAFOD. You see how your work is helping those in need and you see how your donations are used to benefit those in need. I have every confidence in CAFOD and the work they do. The work in Sierra Leone is a great example of CAFOD’s Donations and help from the volunteers going to a good cause.

At the end of the event when asked about their favourite part of the event, one North Wales volunteer said: “Geoff O’ Donoghue’s speech was really inspiring and left me with a greater desire to help others in need. His telling of ‘The Good Samaritan’ was a perfect fit for the tone of today’s event.”

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BigIF Belfast

CAFOD staff and volunteers

CAFOD is always a hub of constant activity and energy, and is even more since the IF campaign was officially launched at the start of this year. In North Wales, we have been kept on our toes since launching the Welsh IF/OS campaign on 25th January at Wrexham Cathedral. Since then we have worked in coalition on the IF Food Pilgrimage, IF Vigils, and many other events in between. While just last week a party of 15 people from across North Wales pulled on CAFOD t-shirts and descended on London for the #BigIF.

Less than a week since returning from London, myself and Tom, a CAFOD volunteer, found ourselves digging out our passports and making the journey to the second #BigIF, this time in Belfast.

St Mary'sIn St Mary’s Catholic Church in Holyhead we met up with Christian Aid, Oxfam, Tearfund, the Wales Africa Link, and IF supporters. Children from St Mary’s primary school gave a presentation about the IF campaign, and Albert Owen, Labour MP for Anglesey, sent us off to Belfast telling us that: “The community of Anglesey is 100% behind you on this journey“.

It was not only the community of Anglesey who sent us goodwill messages. I received texts and emails from CAFOD colleagues in the days prior to our departure, who wished us well, and said that although they could not be there, they were with us in spirit. And as Tom and I boarded the ferry it was with these good wishes that we made our journey to Belfast.

CAFOD BigIF BelfastWhile we had been greeted with glorious sunshine in London; the weather in Belfast could not have been more different, and rain continued to lash down, but this did not do anything to lessen the mood or enthusiasm of all the campaigners who had made this journey. By the time the Ulster Orchestra had opened the Belfast BigIF, the Botanic Gardens was filled with people in welly boots, rain ponchos and umbrellas, refusing to allow the weather to affect the importance of the message they were sending to the G8 leaders.

Some of the highlights of the day included director and playwright, Richard Dormer, speaking movingly about the Irish famine and how as a result of this the Irish have “a feeling of solidarity with those suffering from hunger around the world”, before he introduced actor Jim Broadbent to read Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘For the Commander of the Eliza’, which reduced the audience of nearly 2000 people to silence.

Joy, a campaigner from Kenya who spoke of how in Kenya 66% of land grabs are used for producing biofuels, which means that people go hungry.  Sudarshan  from Bangladesh who spoke of similar problems there; while Frank and Mwajuma from Tanzania  spoke of their first hand experiences of hunger. Scottish campaigners joined the stage to speak about why they had come to Belfast, and Welsh campaigners presented their ‘Message in a bottle’ (a giant plastic bottle filled with messages from Welsh campaigners for the G8 leaders), both of which received loud cheers from the crowd.

As the day drew to its close music from Belfast’s Gospel Choir and ‘Two Door Cinema Club’ further enthused this already energetic crowd, and as the crowd started to make its way home we were told to ‘keep up this noise’ and continue to push the G8 leaders to take action so that we can end global hunger.

Tom

Thank you to everyone for the words or encouragement, prayers and  complete support you have all shown for this campaign. I have loved meeting CAFOD supporters at all these events, and hope to see you all again at future events.

Anne Fegan

CAFOD Diocesan Officer

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-To keep up to date with all the latest CAFOD campaign news you can sign up for the e-news letter here:

http://www.cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Take-action-today/Big-IF-G8-Rally