North Wales Justice and Peace come together

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of spending the day in beautiful Pantasaph with lovely people from across North Wales, who all share a passion and commitment to Justice and Peace.  Among attendees were representatives from other charities such as SHARE, Christian Aid and Aid for the Church in Need.

The day was organised by Katja Jewell, Joyce Elcock and Maria Pizzoni who are keen to rebuild the Justice and Peace network across North Wales.

We started the day in glorious sunshine and did the Stations of the Cross, where each of

Colette Byrne from CAFOD reads at Station 1

Colette Byrne from CAFOD reads at Station 1

us told a story that was relevant to our cause and linked in with Jesus’s struggle.  It was a very powerful reflection which made Jesus’s suffering all the more real, connecting us with people’s suffering today.

After a shared lunch, we discussed Justice and Peace in North Wales, and how we can build on this, and work together more in the future.

As part of the Justice and Peace network, we hope to make a difference.  I would like to invite you to be part of this network too.  It would be wonderful to see CAFOD volunteers interlinking their CAFOD role with the Justice and Peace network.  Please contact me to discuss this further.

There will be an overnight retreat in Noddfa on Friday 10th November which you would

Justice and Peace members from across North Wales

Justice and Peace members from across North Wales

be welcome to join.  Further details, closer to the time.

Colette Byrne
CAFOD
Community Participation Coordinator, Wrexham Diocese

07779 804 242

cbyrne@cafod.org.uk

The Lampedusa Cross travels from Buckley to Mold

Walking with the Lampedusa Cross

Walking with the Lampedusa Cross

As part of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis asked us all to go on pilgrimage to mark an extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual renewal.  On Saturday 29th October, a group of over 25 people of all ages and from different churches in Buckley and Mold set off together to walk and reflect on the suffering of migrants, and their perils as they attempt the dangerous crossing of the seas in the hope for a better future.  The group set off from Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Buckley and finished at St David’s Catholic Church in Mold.

Each participant held the Lampedusa Cross

Each participant held the Lampedusa Cross

Each participant took it in turns to carry the Lampedusa cross, created by Italian carpenter, Francesco Tuccio from the drift wood of stranded migrant ships. For too many of the migrants the wrecked ships not only shattered their dreams of arriving in their new ‘Heimat’ but also broke up families and are a stark reminder of the many lost lives. The ‘lucky’ ones who arrived safely still feel lost, hurt and not always welcome.  This cross is also a symbol of the immense generosity of many unsung heroes, who welcomed these strangers with open arms, sharing the little they have.

Together the group walked in reverence, stopping at the different stations and churches

Churches together for a CAFOD Lampedusa Cross Pilgrimage

Churches together for a CAFOD Lampedusa Cross Pilgrimage

along the way, the Methodist Church in Buckley, Bistre Church Anglican church, Caffi Isa Book Lounge, and  St. Cecilia’s Anglican Church Mynydd Isa  recalling stories collected by CAFOD and SHARE.

The group were privileged to be supported by volunteers from the local charity SHARE, who reflected on their own personal, deeply moving experiences from their trip to a refugee camp in Greece.  Mynydd Isa community project, Caffi Isa and book lounge opened their doors especially for the pilgrimage participants in the afternoon.

Stopping off to see housebound CAFOD supporters, Phyllis and Joe

Stopping off to see housebound CAFOD supporters, Phyllis and Joe

Just before reaching their final destination, the group walked past the house of precious CAFOD supporters Phyllis and Joe, now mostly housebound. What a joy to share this special time together, and for Joe to hold the cross himself. How many times have they and others opened their doors and hearts to Christ and people in need before.

These are the special blessings coming out of our small offerings having prepared the pilgrimage.

Having arrived in Mold the group were welcomed by parishioners with Fairtrade tea/ coffee

Walking on pilgrimage

Walking on pilgrimage

and cakes. Later the ecumenical group joined St David’s Parish for the evening Mass. Intercessions and Holy Mass were dedicated to the refugees all over the world.  The Lampedusa cross was presented at the offertory and its significance explained to the congregation.  Parishioners prayed that refugees arriving after a painful and dangerous journey felt welcomed in the same way, that our hearts are open to welcome the stranger and see Christ’s face in each of them. May they see God’s love in our faces too!

buckley-mold-lc-pic-7

Parishioners from Buckley and Mold

Many thanks also to all who participated, to Cytun (Churches together in Wales) for spreading the word of the pilgrimage, and especially to the churches along the way, who welcomed the group, joined into the walk and literally went out of their way to show their solidarity to refugees all over the world. This act of solidarity brought the group closer together.

A very special thank you to the event organisers, CAFOD parish volunteer, Joyce Elcock and Katja Jewell, whom you will all be very familiar with, as she worked for a long time in the CAFOD Volunteer Centre.  This powerful pilgrimage would not have happened without their huge efforts.  Thank you so much for your hard work.

If you’re interested in attending a Lampedusa Cross Pilgrimage, there will be an Anglesey pilgrimage on Sunday 27th November at 3pm.  Please contact the CAFOD North Wales Volunteer Centre for details.

CAFOD School Volunteer gets underway in role

St Mary's RC Primary Year 6 children participate in Lampedusa Cross Pilgrimage

Year 6 Children at St Mary’s RC Primary in Wrexham participate in the CAFOD Lampedusa Cross Pilgrimage as part of the Year of Mercy

New CAFOD School Volunteer, Clodagh Cherry made her first school visit in the Wrexham Diocese on 19th May when she visited the children at St Mary’s RC Primary School in Wrexham.  Clodagh, along with CAFOD Staff David Brinn and Colette Byrne, helped to deliver a school assembly on the Year of Mercy, and a Refugee workshop to a class of Year 6 children.  The workshop entailed the Lampedusa Cross Pilgrimage, which the Year 6 class will be delivering to the rest of the school, and they will all be writing or drawing their own messages of hope which will be passed on to refugees here in the UK and abroad.

This year, Pope Francis has asked us all to go on pilgrimage to pray for those who have been forced to flee their homes.  At CAFOD North Wales, we are asking you to hold your own Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage in your schools or parishes.  We have our very own Lampedusa Cross which will go on display in St Mary’s Cathedral, Wrexham.

For more information on the Lampedusa Cross or to hear how you can support CAFOD in your area, please contact Colette at cbyrne@cafod.org.uk or 07779 804 242.

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