Some 40 people attended the CJSR (Commission for Justice & Social Responsibility) Annual Conference at Brentwood Cathedral Halls.Bishop Thomas opened the conference and this was followed by a short welcome from Sr Una McCreesh, the Commission’s chairperson. Reports of the work of the Commission then followed, with Davina Bolt speaking about her area of responsibility – Social Justice – including working in primary schools around the Diocese and a short film from our twin Diocese of Dundee in South Africa. Phil Butcher then spoke about Marriage and Family Life and the work that is being done.
After a short break, CAFOD’s Susy Brouard was welcomed as the keynote speaker. The title of her talk was “The Challenge of Micah” and she kept the audience engrossed as she spoke about the Prophet and in particular his words “Act Justly, Walk Humbly, Love Tenderly” and what this meant in today’s world.
A particularly moving moment came when Susy showed a film of Nete, who works with one of CAFOD’s partners in Brazil, APOIO. Nete was standing in the favela, overlooking the rich part of the city, when she said what drove her: “I can’t dream just for myself”.
Susy works in the theology team at Romero House. her background has involved working with different marginalised groups, directing retreats and adult education and formation. She is currently undertaking studies in the area of Catholic Social Teaching.
The words “Act Justly, Walk Humbly, Love Tenderly” are also the CJSR’s mission.
Denise and Joanna from the office were also at the Conference and were pleased to see so many friends of CAFOD attending. From Hornchurch there was Maria Dyde and Jean Horan, from the Cathedral Roisin Casels, Catrina Carson, Dwight and Mary Hayter, Mark Cutler from Colchester, Christin Walton, Tim Campbell, Paul Dowling from Walthamstow, Bernie O’Callaghan from Barkingside, Kathleen Newel, Jean Salter and Betty from Hainault, Martin Humphries from Chelmsford and Jo Campbell from Basildon.
We also met Marian Barlow from Hutton, who had a good attempt at juggling (as part of the “Don’t Drop the Ball” campaign action) and Anne from Rainham.