Wrexham Diocese CAFOD Mass of Remembrance

During November, the month of remembrance, we take time to pray for those who have died and give thanks for loved ones who have made a deep and lasting impression on our lives.

Over the years, CAFOD has been blessed to work alongside the kindest and most committed friends any charity could hope for. The insight, faith and strength of our founders and early supporters still shape our values and way of working today.

But one of the saddest aspects of growing older, as individuals and as an organisation, is that some of our closest friends have passed away in recent months and years. In our own diocese we have lost a number of friends who have played an inspirational and important role in our work. 

Friends like Auriel Samuelsen.

Auriel S

Auriel Samuelsen was small in stature but she will be remembered as a “great, loving giant of a woman”; as described by her friend and fellow CAFOD volunteer, Sr Vianney Connolly.

Auriel’s life revolved around her faith, her love of education and her passion for justice. After visiting CAFOD projects in Sri Lanka she championed our Trade Justice Campaign and called for the improved treatment of female workers on tea plantations. She also helped Wrexham to become one of the country’s first Fairtrade Dioceses.

With characteristic pragmatism, Auriel took steps to safeguard our work through a gift in her will. In 2002 she told us: “ I’ve supported CAFOD for 20 years of my life so far, so it makes sense to carry on when I’m no longer here. We all want to leave behind something of use, and a legacy to CAFOD is exactly that.”

Auriel put down her placard for the last time in March 2011 but her fight for justice continues; and her memory lives on in the communities given help and hope by her lifetime of love, compassion and campaigning.



So in celebration of our inspiring friends, and as a small token of our appreciation for their years of kindness and dedication, CAFOD North Wales will be holding its Memorial Mass, celebrated by Bishop Peter, at the Cathedral Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, Wrexham on Saturday, 8th November at 12 noon.

All are welcome to join us, whether to remember fellow CAFOD supporters or members of your own family, friends and community who have passed away. At our memorial Mass you can take precious time to remember your loved ones, knowing that you’re among friends.

A book of remembrance will be presented and blessed by Bishop Peter at the Mass. If you would like to add a name to this list you would be very welcome; whether or not you can attend the service itself. Please get in touch with our office at northwales@cafod.org.uk or by calling 01978 355 084 if you’d like to know more.

Refreshments will be provided after the service, so we hope you’ll be able to stay on for a while to speak with other local CAFOD supporters and staff. It would be wonderful to see you at such a special event.

24/03/2014 Day 19 of Lenten Challenge

It helps now and then to step back, and take the long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work .

Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No programme accomplishes the Church’s mission.

That is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further develioment.

We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.


We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realising that.

This enables us to do something, and to do it well.

It may be incomplete but ut us a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.


We are the workers, not the master builders, ministers, not messiahs.

We are the prophets of a future not of our own. Amem
Archbishop Oscar Romero

Oscar Romero

23/03/2014 Day 18 of Lenten Challenge

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… Do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

Former First Lady of the United States and Political Leader

Taking yourself out of your comfort zones is hard, and yet, as the quote states, we gain so much from it.

On Sunday morning a small group of ‘CAFOD Belles on Bikes’ set off,  invited to join Sustrans (http://www.sustrans.org.uk/wales) volunteers for a bike ride along the canal from Chirk to Llangollen. A great opportunity to reconnect with the lovely country side, in mainly bright weather with just a short shower of rain and hail.

For some of us it was a huge challenge to get back on the bike after many years. But encourage by the very skilled volunteers Ani and Pam from Sustrans, and as a sign of solidarity for women all over the world, who face incredible challenges every day, we pushed on. Anne Elwood had not been on a bike for over 28 years, but completed the 16 miles bike ride with laughter and encouragement of the female only group. Afterwards she said: “I feel this is my little contribution to make this world a better place. But also it will now get me back on the bike in the future”. Sustran kindly allowed us to use this bike ride as a fundraising opportunity for some of our women’s projects. We chose some from the world gift catalogue World Gifts.

You can still sponsor us: https://www.justgiving.com/bellesonbikes

And if you have ideas how to challenge yourself and support others, please let us know.


Team of ladies representing CAFOD