Power to Be campaign spans the generations at Shoeburyness parish

Brian Fitzgerald, chair  of the ‘senior’ Justice and Peace team at St George and the English Martyrs, Shoeburyness, describes how CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign captured the imagination and support of people of a range of ages in the parish…

The parishioners of St George & the English Martyrs, Shoeburyness, listened spellbound to very distinct Power To Be presentations on the weekend of 30th September/1st October.

The parish has 2 Justice & Peace groups – A Youth group, aged from 11 to 17 years, and a Senior group, comprising mainly of Senior Citizens.  Following attendance at the National Justice & Peace Network meeting in Romero House in May the idea was hatched that the groups could utilise their differing  talents  to launch the campaign during the masses before the World Bank meetings  in October.

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Members of the Youth J&P group at St George’s present the Power to Be campaign to parishioners

Our Parish Priest, Fr Brett, was typically enthusiastic to encourage participation from a range of lay people. (He was even more so when he realised that on the weekend in question he would be recovering from jet lag following a transatlantic flight).  Thus the idea became reality:

Every child has the power in them to achieve great things

The Youth group leaders combined with the Chair of the Senior group to edit a Powerpoint presentation ensuring that it retained the required impact.  The young members of the group were so enthusiastic that we were able to have different teams presenting at each of the 2 masses, a Youth Mass and a regular sung Mass, in St George`s church.

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Signed Power to Be action cards placed at the altar at St George’s

Meanwhile, it was decided that the Senior group would present the campaign at the Mass at the  Chapel of St Gregory in nearby Thorpe Bay. At this Mass we limited ourselves to a short talk, edited to include pertinent facts and figures, presented impeccably by our most senior member, Brigid Hogan, a sprightly 90 year old, and prayers of intercession.

Fr Brett reinforced the message behind the campaign with carefully chosen words of reflection at the end of each celebration and the reaction of those present was extremely positive with nearly 300 petition cards completed.

“Stay strong…have God in your heart”: a message of hope to refugees

While spending time in reflection and prayer with the Lampedusa Cross people from across the Brentwood Diocese have been moved to write messages of hope and solidarity with migrants

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The Lampedusa Cross at the British Museum

Hundreds of people across the diocese of Brentwood have responded to CAFOD’s invitation to write personal messages of hope to refugees across the world as a sign of solidarity in this Year of Mercy.


The Lampedusa Cross has been taken to schools across the diocese and has featured in a number of assemblies, liturgies and moments of prayer and reflection. The cross is a powerful symbol of the unfolding tragedy of the refugee crisis across the world, and many have expressed how moved they have been in its presence.

 

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Messages of hope from pupils at St Benedict’s College, Colchester

Students from St Aidan’s school in Ilford, Holy Family College in Walthamstow, St Benedict’s College in Colchester, St John Payne in Chelmsford and the Brentwood Ursuline have written their own personal messages to be sent to refugees across the world.

Grace from St Benedict’s College writes “There are times in life that are bad: devastating. Those bad times may seem like a never ending ocean. But there are also times in life where good things begin. They will make you smile with joy”. Zoe writes “Wherever you go you must remember that life is a journey. Never let a single day darken you”.

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CAFOD volunteers Peter and Breda with young leaders from the Brentwood Ursuline

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Denise Grierson, chaplain at Holy Family College, holds the Lampedusa Cross outside Brentwood Cathedral’s Doors of Mercy

 

 

Bishop Stephen Cottrell of Chelmsford writes his own personal message of hope

Bishop Stephen Cottrell of Chelmsford writes his own personal message of hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In early July the cross was taken to the Bradwell Festival, an ecumenical Christian festival in Essex, where festival-goers were invited to write messages, including Bishop Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford.

Can your parish write messages of hope to refugees?

Forced out by war, poverty or persecution, millions of people live uncertain lives as migrants and refugees. Your parish can act in response by writing messages of hope, and returning these to CAFOD, where we will share these with refugees. All ages can take part, and hundreds of beautiful messages have already been written or drawn.

Order or download cards to write your messages.

READ MORE HERE >>

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy 2015

Peru - Condoraque community

Peru – Condoraque community

We take this opportunity to thank you for the support you have given both the office and CAFOD over the past twelve months.

Those who have prayed for our work …. taken part in sponsored events …. spoken at Mass …. taken part in a campaign action …. joined us on a walk, a rally, at an event …. supported World Gifts …. donated to Emergencies …. fundraised in any way …. volunteered in schools …. volunteered in parishes …. volunteered in the office …. held a quiz night …. supported Connect:2 …. so many ways, so many people, so many stories.

As many of us gather to celebrate with friends and family this Christmas, we hold in prayer those affected by Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea who are unable to gather with friends and family. We also remember the 10th anniversary of the Boxing Day tsunami and continue to pray for peace in Syria, South Sudan and the ceasefire and rebuilding in Gaza.

Bridges of reconciliation
Prince of Peace,
you were born into a world
where terror reigned and fear ruled
and live today in a world crucified by war.
Fill us with your passion for justice
that wherever we see evil abound
we may live to disturb its path
and strive to build bridges of reconciliation.
In the darkness, beckon us with your kindly light
that we never lose sight of your vision of peace
in which the lion lies down with the lamb.
Amen.
Annabel Shilson-Thomas/CAFOD

The CAFOD Brentwood office will be closed from Tuesday 23 December, reopening Monday 5 January 2015.

Joanna, Denise and Mary