My Harvest Fast Day – a day in solidarity with those who do not have enough

Rosemary has supported CAFOD for over 30 years – buying World Gifts, taking part in LiveSimply, praying for our partners around the world, and even running the London Marathon. Rosemary tells us why giving is important to her and what her plans are for Harvest Fast Day.

Justice in my family

Rosemary after running the London Marathon for CAFOD in 2015
Rosemary after running the London Marathon for CAFOD in 2015

When my husband and I first moved to Norwich, about 34 years ago, our finances were quite tricky. We prayed and decided we would put God first. We decided to tithe our income and give 10 per cent back to the Lord for his Kingdom work. A big proportion of our funds went to CAFOD. We wanted our tithing to go towards justice and peace work because we believe there has to be justice before there can be peace. How can people live peacefully in their hearts when others are struggling? As Pope Paul said: “If you want peace, work for justice.”

Download Fast Day resources to help you organise a Fast Day collection in your parish.

I brought my children up to think about justice within the family and being fair. We don’t take things from each other without asking because we’re depriving that person of a chance to be generous. If you’re asked, the kind thing is to say: “Yes, you may borrow it.” But you have to ask first, otherwise you’re taking from that person and presuming they’ll be generous. Then they can have the blessing from making a good choice.

My Harvest Fast Day

The same goes for fundraising. People do want to give, but often don’t know how to or who to. I used to teach at a primary school and what I noticed is that when you put the facts before children and encourage them to be generous, they do want to. At Fast Days, children will very often bring in coins from their own pocket money.

For Harvest Fast Day this year I will be fasting with my husband, to have one day in solidarity with those who do not have enough. And we will give extra funds, over and above our monthly giving, to our parish CAFOD collection.

Donate to our Harvest Appeal now

Additionally, our apple tree has an abundance of fruit this year, and we like to share that abundance with others. We give a lot of the fruit away, and I also make a very delicious apple jelly using many of the windfalls. This year I’m hoping to donate a box of jars to the CAFOD group in my parish so they can sell them at their monthly CAFOD stall.

Why I give

To be able to live my faith wholeheartedly, I need to give. There are people who are poor and people who don’t have, and I have more than enough for my basic necessities. We’re all part of God’s world. I don’t know how I was lucky enough to be born in England! It was God’s plan that I was born in England, but that doesn’t mean I can abuse that blessing. It can seem a huge problem when you think, for example, of how many people are in refugee camps. It almost overwhelms me. But I want to do what I can to make it right for some people. And if everybody just did a little bit…

Giving makes me feel right. It’s very much related to my faith because I believe that God has no favourites and we’re all personally loved by him. That unites me with people around the world, even though I don’t know them and haven’t met them. I know that these people are like me and are supremely loved by God. We’re all the same in his creation.

Download Fast Day resources to help you organise a Fast Day collection in your parish.

Donate to our Harvest Appeal now

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