Meet Our Volunteer – Angela Pender

Angela has been volunteering for CAFOD since 2015 as an Education Volunteer, visiting schools and working with children and young people to increase their awareness of poverty and injustice.

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Angela really enthuses and inspires the children and young people she works with through her joy and energy. In particular, in the last few months, Angela has been helping the children think about the refugee crisis using the Lampedusa Cross Pilgrimage. She has adapted this for a range of age groups, but always brings her strong faith into the sessions to give the children a powerful and reflective experience.

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Angela also has great relationships with the staff at the schools she visits, often organising her own visits with teacher she knows. This has allowed us to visit some schools that have never previously had a CAFOD volunteer in, and therefore given many more children the opportunity to experience CAFOD’s work and reflect on poverty and injustice.

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Although Angela leads a very busy life, she is always able to squeeze in some extra time to volunteer for CAFOD, and will do whatever she can to help out when needed. Outside of Angela’s volunteering in schools, she often helps out at CAFOD events, working with the children and young people attending. Most notably, she can be seen face painting at the annual CAFOD Fun Run!

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Angela says “I love my school visits and recruiting more volunteers in my role as parish speaker for CAFOD” and “I love CAFOD”

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Thank you Angela, for your enthusiastic approach to volunteering, and for everything you have done for CAFOD and the schools that you have worked with.

CAFOD Liverpool Memorial mass

On Sunday 27th November, St Teresa of the Child Jesus in Norris Green, kindly hosted the

CAFOD Memorial book of remembrance

CAFOD Memorial book of remembrance

annual CAFOD Liverpool memorial mass.

Every November, CAFOD hold a memorial mass in honour of our supporters and loved ones who have died.  A book of remembrance is displayed to remember those who have dedicated time, support, money and prayers to CAFOD over the years.  Without their kind and generous support, we simply couldn’t continue our work.

St Teresa's CAFOD Group and Fr Chris Fallon

St Teresa’s CAFOD Group and Fr Chris Fallon hosted this year’s Liverpool Memorial Mass

This year’s mass was kindly organised by our recently set up CAFOD group at St Teresa’s, led by Terry Graham.  The group were set up in May and since then, have supported CAFOD in many ways, including taking on campaign actions and organising a prayer pilgrimage.  The group really did themselves proud by organising this touching event, with wonderful support from Fr Chris Fallon.

We would like to say a big thank you to all of those involved in supporting this service.

If you would like to hear more about how you can support or volunteer for CAFOD, please do not hesitate to contact the CAFOD Liverpool Volunteer Centre.  There are many ways that you can be involved no matter what your skills are or how much time you feel you can offer.  We are grateful for any support.

Harvest Fast Day: Make your voice heard!

Ged Edwards, new CAFOD Coordinator in Liverpool, reflects on the incredible contribution from volunteers who speak at Mass.

Today, we are more aware than ever of other countries and of the lives of our brothers and sisters across the world. For many Catholics, this awareness goes way beyond booking the next holiday, and our relationship with our global family is especially close at key times of the year. Lent and Harvest Fast Days are times when we are particularly aware of our sisters and brothers overseas. At this time, we think about the support the Church offers through CAFOD.

Lent 2015 – Kyin Nu

During Lent this year, we introduced you to Kyin Nu – a woman from Myanmar who lost her two eldest children to a cyclone in 2008. Kyin Nu and her husband now have one precious daughter left. As the family faced terrible loss and powerlessness, CAFOD worked with our partner in Myanmar to help Kyin Nu’s community to restore buildings, farms and fisheries, and to construct new land defences. We have worked to make sure that next time – and, sadly, there will be a next time – Kyin Nu’s community know how to stay safe. Kyin Nu knows where to safely store her food so it doesn’t get ruined by salt water, where to run to when she hears the warning signal, and her daughter knows to pack an emergency bag filled with essentials like water, food and a blanket.

Volunteer to speak at Mass – contact your local CAFOD office

Carmel Donnelly, one of our volunteers in Salford Diocese, shared Kyin Nu’s story with her parish at Mass during Lent. A real person giving an account from their heart helps people to understand what’s going on in the world and what they can do to help. Carmel told me: “It was good to hear of a personal story, as it related to real people in need.”

Our relationship with our brothers and sisters

Volunteers always receive such a warm welcome when they speak at Mass. They tell me how rewarding it is to thank parishioners for their longstanding support and to give them details about CAFOD’s recent work. As our volunteers speak, they hold a thread between you here in England and Wales, and our brothers and sisters overseas. If this thread breaks, people’s lives can be so badly affected.

Preserving the thread – preserving that precious relationship – means life-changing support for thousands of people overseas, and it can inspire new supporters to act in solidarity. This Lent, people were inspired by Kyin Nu’s strength and resilience, and responded with fantastic generosity – raising over £5 million for our Lent Appeal. This incredible sum of money will make a real difference to thousands of people, like Kyin Nu, who are affected by disasters.

Be the thread – contact your local office to volunteer

The UK government also offered to match your gifts pound for pound, so your donations are worth an astounding £10 million. The government chose to do this because they know that donations to CAFOD get to where they are needed, and will be spent wisely by trusted partners with whom we work closely.

Your prayers keep us going

Our teams around England and Wales do rely on your financial gifts, but the prayers of the Catholic community are also vital to our work. When things are difficult, knowing that you are hoping and praying for a better world keeps me going. Our partners feel this too. When Erasmo Valiente came to visit us from El Salvador, he told us: “In the most difficult of times, you have always been with us. You have supported us through times of civil war and earthquakes. You are like the stars. Although far away, you always seem so close.”

Here in the North West, and in the dioceses across England and Wales, we ask for people to volunteer in the parish for CAFOD, or to speak at Mass, or offer whatever skills they have. The experience is always a rewarding one. After giving a talk at Mass, Sister Beatrice Molyneux FCJ told me: “I was grateful to those parishioners who came up to thank me for the talk. I was also pleased to meet some who offered to help as contacts in the parish. I am praying that some of these lovely people will follow up and assist their parish priest with CAFOD in future.”

Every volunteer brings life experience and an enthusiasm to work for justice. In the North West over 30 new people joined us this year in Lent to share our vision for a world free from poverty. And in turn, they inspired dozens more to put their faith into action. A huge thank you to everyone who supported our Lent Appeal.

Do you have a skill you can share? Contact your local CAFOD office to volunteer this Harvest

From El Salvador with Love!

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The children at St Anne’s Catholic Primary School had a CAFOD competition last year. The children had to design their own Romero Cross and the winning designs would then be made by Lazaro Rodríguez (pictured below with his family), the carpenter who lives in El Salvador and who makes the Romero Crosses that CAFOD sell. The winning designs were then sent to Lazaro who has been working hard on them over the last year.

CAFOD School Volunteer Justine Silcock went to present the school with their new Romero Crosses on Friday 27th June. She presented the crosses to the winning designers (pictured above) who were delighted to see their designs turned into such wonderful creations. The beautiful crosses now hang in St Anne’s School for all to see. Justine presented an assembly telling the children all about the journey of their designs to Lazaro in El Salvador, the process of how he makes the beautiful crosses, and then all about the crosses’ journey back to Ormskirk.

Justine’s visit was part of a ‘Colours for CAFOD’ day  school fundrainsing day which involved a morning of wonderful activities such as flag making, playing the the Banana Trade game and a Fairtrade cafe selling banana smoothies, fruit salad and cakes. After Justine’s assembly the school then held a whole school Fun Run to raise money for CAFOD.

Many thanks to the whole school for all their amazing and inspirational fundraising and to Lazaro for his marvellous work!

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UPDATE: St Anne’s have just been in touch to tell us that during their ‘Colours for CAFOD’ day they raised a brilliant £395. Pictured below are two year 5 pupils who used their own time and initiative to raise further money by selling loom bands. They raised a wonderful £15.75. Many thanks 🙂

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An Egg-ceptional night!

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Last night, St Aidan’s Church in Wigan had another successful CAFOD quiz. It was hosted and written by one of BBC2s ‘Eggheads’ Pat Gibson. Over 100 people gathered in the parish centre to see who would be crowned the winners! Categories included general knowledge, film, television, sport, literature, music and different types of picture rounds. In first place was Team ‘Quiz Akabusi,’ closely followed by the runners up ‘5 Alive.’ We had two teams in joint third place, ‘Pointless’ and ‘the non-specialists’. Altogether over £772.00 was raised for Connect2:Brazil. A massive, massive THANK YOU to volunteer Pat Boyle for all her hard work and to the Gibson family who make the night so entertaining and fun. More photos to follow in the next few weeks….