Following Mass and Coffee at Our lady of Lourdes, Wanstead (report here https://cafodbrentwood.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/el-salvador-comes-to-wanstead/ ) Erasmo and Fidel continued their tour as part of Connect2 El Salvador and took a 45 minute car journey through the Essex countryside to Blessed Sacrament parish, Chelmsford in time to share in their regular Lenten lunch They were met by parish volunteer and chair of the Justice and Peace Group – Eileen Webster.
Over 40 parishioners joined them and they enjoyed a wonderful lunch of homemade soup with 5 delicious flavours to choose from, from Leek and Potato to Carrot and Coriander. They were delighted to meet Maria Jose from Madrid and Spanish speaking Olga who gave Tania a welcome break in translating whilst she enjoyed her lunch.
After lunch they gave a short presentation. Fidel spoke about the community shops based on fair trade, women’s community saving and loans clubs enabling groups to make soap, baskets, cakes and biscuits for sale. They also shared their plans for the future
• To produce a greater surplus from their harvest
• To process what they produce and sell it for a higher price
• To develop trade based on solidarity and fairness
and to continue to be there not just for peoples material needs but for their spiritual needs too.
Show me the pain of those who are most troubled
So that I can learn about the suffering of my people
Grant me the courage to serve others
Because in surrender there is eternal life
Illuminate us with song and celebration
And raise the Spirit amongst us
May the Spirit flower and grow
And give us strength to continue our struggle
May we remember those who have died from injustice
Because for us they have given their lives
They also remembered Oscar Romero who plays an important part in the lives of Fidel and Erasmo whose words inspire them in their daily lives to reduce poverty, exclusion and injustice and a dream of a fairer and more humane world.
The afternoon finished appropriately with the hymn ‘Bind us together Lord’
On the way back to London Diocesan Manger Joanna took Erasmo, Fidel, and Tania from CAFOD’s Latin America section into the CAFOD Brentwood office at Chigwell Convent. They met Mary and found out more about the many wonderful ways CAFOD supporters fundraise and raise awareness of CAFOD. They were particularly taken with the idea of the abseil down Harlow Water tower and asked for photos and a copy of the newsletter to take back to show their community.