Our Lady of the Assumption’s Hunger Lunches

Our Lady of the Assumption parish in Belle Vale ran hunger lunches for six Fridays during Lent.

These hunger lunches raised a fantastic total of £266.52 for CAFOD and in total the parish raised £3086 for CAFOD during Lent.

Rosemary Doman1.jpg

Rosemary Doman (Right)

Our parish volunteer, Rosemary Doman said “there was a lovely social atmosphere. ” and told us that the lunches “were attended by 14 – 21 parishioners/visitors, including each week Father Trowbridge – from Wigan – who travelled a distance to say Mass for us beforehand on five Fridays and was a very enthusiastic supporter!”


A volunteer preparing coffee

On the last occasion the group was joined by Father Pat O’Brien, who offered mass that day.

Many parish groups  were involved in preparing and serving the soups including “Our Lady’s choir, the Legion of Mary and the One World Group.”


Guests enjoying their soup

The soups which were mostly homemade, included a range of the ‘guests’ favourite recipes – “tomato & basil, carrot & coriander, leek & potato & lentil among others. All much enjoyed! Tea/coffee & a biscuit concluded the simple meal.”


More guests enjoying the soup on offer

Rosemary’s concluding thought was that “Everyone agreed these were great social occasions as well as raising £266.52 in total for CAFOD. Definitely to be repeated next year!”

It’s great to see that the parish’s hard work paid off, and resulted in such a “Souper” result for CAFOD, thank you to Rosemary and everyone else involved.

Fund Raiser in Marldon Avenue

Marldon Avenue, Crosby was the place to be on Thursday 20th April where a fund raiser was held for CAFOD’s East Africa and Yemen Appeals.  Bernadette Callaghan writes:

“Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. well over a hundred people visited my house to enjoy tea, coffee and biscuits. They spent a huge amount of money on plants, cakes, gifts, fancy goods, tombola and raffle. Luckily we could use the garden as there was no rain!

“Much laughter was heard as everyone enjoyed the cakes and the company of like-minded people. It was a wonderful day and we were well rewarded after all the hard work. Many thanks to my friends who helped organise the day, to those who helped on the day and to those who sent donations as they were unable to attend. Of course, many thanks especially to all who came and supported the event and helped raise the grand total of £1,916 – 37.”


Ged Edwards, CAFOD Community Participation Coordinator for the area said, “I know that Bernie and her friends thought that £800 would be a great total but they were amazed with the response and final total and people had such a good time together too!  Thanks so much to Bernie and her friends for taking the time to do this and congratulations with such an amazing result!  People in East Africa and Yemen need every penny!”

If you would like to follow Bernie’s great example and need some suggestions or materials like posters to make it happen, please get in touch with Ged or Colette liverpool@cafod.org.uk.  Many thanks!

Meet Our Volunteers – Eamon and Maeve O’Neill


Eamon and Maeve lead the 17-strong CAFOD Group in St Bartholomew’s established when Vin McMullen, CAFOD’s first Regional Organiser inspired them in 1993.  The Group continues in the sure knowledge that their work is in solidarity with one another, the parish at large, clergy and CAFOD Liverpool Volunteer Centre as well as with our sisters and brothers overseas.

In this spirit they have enabled the parish to remain aware of our work and in response to donate £264,098 to date, supporting Fast Days, emergencies, Connect2 and hold two main community events, a sponsored walk and Coffee Evening for the parish and beyond into Rainhill.  Eamon is a speaker at Mass in St Bartholomew’s and in other settings on request, and he takes donations from the parish each week to the CAFOD Shop in Liverpool.

St Bart's CAFOD Group

Members of St Bartholomew’s CAFOD group

Maeve was also a Diocesan Team member and adviser and an Education Volunteer for several years.  She is a Traidcraft representative and the Group runs a weekly Fairtrade stall at Masses, and she supplies other groups and events in the area during the year.

Both have also been part of the Group’s longstanding efforts to promote CAFOD’s campaigns through lobbying for many years as well as its prayer life (e.g. Lampedusa Cross: Holy Week 2017).

Maeve and team

Maeve and members of her group


Lampedusa Cross Walk of Witness

Arch blesses cross

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon Blessing the Cross

50 Rainhill residents led by the St Bartholomew’s CAFOD Group led a Walk of Witness for Good Friday in Rainhill.  The Walk was an ecumenical event with parishioners from St Ann’s CE Church and St James’ Methodist Church walking in solidarity.  The Group had asked to use the Liverpool Lampedusa Cross for the walk which was also used at other times during Holy Week at St Bartholomew’s.

Lampedusa Cross at St Teresa's Norris Green

The Lampedusa Cross at  St Teresa’s in Norris Green

This cross was made from pieces of a boat wrecked off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa. The first Lampedusa cross was made from a boat on which 311 Eritrean and Somali refugees were drowned making their way from Libya to Europe. The community on the island helped save the lives of 155 others.

In Lampedusa’s church, Francesco Tuccio, the island’s carpenter, met some of the survivors who were Eritrean Christians. Moved by their situation, he used his skills to make each of them a cross from the wreckage as both a reflection of their salvation from the sea andalso as a powerful symbol of hope for their future. A similar cross was made for Pope Francis, who carried it at a memorial service for those who had perished.

LC at St Oswalds Warrington

The Lampedusa Cross at St Oswalds in Warrington

In 2016, Mr Tuccio made the Liverpool Lampedusa Cross. It bears witness to the dangerous journeys and many uncertainties migrants and refugees face today. It reminds us of the power of our own acts of love, mercy and hope.

LC in Warrington Walking day

The Lampedusa Cross at the Walking Day Event in Warrington. 

The Lampedusa Cross Service is a simple and powerful liturgy which can be used by anyone.  At the end, people are invited to respond by writing their own messages of hope to refugees which are sent to CAFOD and distributed to refugees around the world.  Here’s a picture of the Archbishop Malcolm blessing the Cross and his own Message of Hope.  And the messages do reach refugees, as you can see here through the work of our partner Caritas Hellas on the island of Lesbos in Greece.

LC logo

The Lampedusa Cross Logo

The Cross is available to use for parishes and communities in the Archdiocese and there are beautiful resources to accompany it and to engage people in consideration of the plight of migrants and Jesus’ call to love our neighbours.  If you are interested in using the Cross for a small or large group of people, please call Ged or Colette on 0151 228 4028 or email liverpool@cafod.org.uk.

Meet Our Volunteer – Pat Boyle

PB1Pat (3rd from the left) with other parish CAFOD volunteers

Pat Boyle has been volunteering for CAFOD in a range of ways for many years. As a Deanery Coordinator for CAFOD she was influential in supporting CAFOD’s work across the Wigan area. In her own parish – St Aidan’s, Winstanley, Wigan – she is the Coordinator of the very successful Parish CAFOD Group and actively encourages the school to take part in parish CAFOD events. She is also a Traidcraft representative, promoting awareness of their work and messages as well as selling its goods. During Fairtrade Fortnight, Pat links Traidcraft and CAFOD in a parish event and uses this to further engage her local MP, Yvonne Fovargue, in the issues and work of CAFOD and Fairtrade. For example, as a result of her attending the FT Coffee Morning this year, Yvonne wrote to Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, to press him to include five principles for new trade deals and received a positive reply.


Pat (right) with Yvonne Fovargue MP for the Makerfield constituency (left) with pupils and staff from St Aidan’s Catholic Primary School, Winstanley school

Pat has been an MP Correspondent for many years writing and contacting her MP and has represented CAFOD Liverpool at a number of MP Correspondents Parliamentary Receptions.  She is involved in campaigning and is a regular attender at campaign events in various parts of the country. She even organised a coach to take CAFOD volunteers and supporters from Wigan to Edinburgh for the Make Poverty History event in 2005.


Pat (right) with children at St Aidan’s Catholic Primary School, Winstanley at a Fairtrade Fortnight event

During the recent Speak Up Campaign, she and her Parish CAFOD volunteers organised a lobbying meeting with the local MP’s representative attended by 40 people and resulting in over 300 signatures in support of CAFOD’s action on climate change and CAFOD’s requested actions taken up by the MP.


Pat (left) with Justine Silcock, Education Volunteer Coordinator, (right) at MP Correspondents’ parliamentary reception at the Speaker’s House, Parliament

Pat is a great example of the role of a Campaign volunteer in her tireless yet gentle way of getting CAFOD’s messages across to all people.