Walking in memory

Memory walk

Roisin Beirne from CAFOD’s Remembrance team shares a story about a parish who organised a walk in remembrance of loved ones who have died, raising money for our work too.

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle”

St Francis of Assisi

This quote from St Francis of Assisi epitomises the amazing strength of CAFOD’s supporters and volunteers. No matter how dark it may seem, or how difficult the road ahead, they continue to shine a light of hope on communities in need throughout the world.

Roisin Beirne
Roisin works in CAFOD’s Remembrance team.

As part of the Remembrance team here at CAFOD I offer support to those who have lost a loved one and are looking for a way to remember them through CAFOD’s work. This means that I am lucky enough to see and be inspired by their remarkable strength every single day.

Sadly, many of the supporters who have helped to shape and grow CAFOD are no longer with us. We know that little can be said to soften the loss of family members and friends, but I’ve spoken to so many people who tell me how much comfort they gain from knowing their loved one’s memory lives on in all those being helped in their name.

Donations in memory of someone special really do make a world of difference.

Walking to remember

To honour loved ones who sadly died, 12 parishioners (and little Pippa, the cockapoo) braved the heat on a hot July afternoon in order to walk 4.5 miles along the Leeds and Liverpool canal.

The walk began with prayer to remember supporters who had died over the years. They presented CAFOD’s Book of Remembrance which includes the names of CAFOD supporters and friends who have died in the last year. The group read out the names of 60 people, including a number of families, from their parish.

Parish walk
Parishioners, joined by little Pippa the cockapoo, braved the heat on a hot July afternoon in order to walk 4.5 miles along the Leeds and Liverpool canal.
Parishioners on a memory walk

Throughout the walk the group would pause, reflect and continue to read the many names which had been put forward – a special and meaningful way for the group to come together to pray for their loved ones.

We were touched to hear that the group also decided to hold a collection for CAFOD. They raised an amazing £768.

With the money raised, CAFOD is able to reach some of the world’s poorest communities and provide them with life-saving tools and equipment, including vegetable gardens, chickens, goats, worms to boost crops, bees, tree seedlings, mosquito nets and life-saving water.

Anne Marie Coppock, a founding member of the parish CAFOD group, said: “On behalf of the entire CAFOD group, I just wish to thank everyone for their amazing generosity.

“The money raised has bought all these fantastic gifts for individual families, which will help to ensure they are able to feed themselves, have a better quality of life and be able to earn a small income.

Donate in memory of a loved one

“CAFOD’s work is about helping people to lift themselves out of poverty by their own efforts and with our support. All these ‘gifts’ are sourced locally and are fit for purpose and local conditions.”

Parishioners on a memory walk
Eileen and her two nieces walking in memory of their sister and mother, Monica Atherton.

We also heard from Christine and Maureen who took part in the walk as a way to remember their mother, Monica Atherton. They told us that Monica was the reason they took part in the walk:

“Our mother was involved with CAFOD from the very beginning and was chairperson, representing the parishioners of St John’s. Her enthusiasm and commitment to helping the poor and needy of this world was an inspiration to all.”

November Memorial Masses

Each November we hold Memorial Masses across England and Wales, as a way to honour our wonderful supporters and their loved ones. During the Masses the Books of Remembrance are blessed and we take the time to remember those no longer with us. We will be honoured to remember all those prayed for during the walk in this year’s Masses.

Thank you to the lovely parish of The Good Samaritan in Burnley. By supporting our work in memory of someone special – whether through regular donations, selling cakes and handicrafts, or indeed organising a walk in their memory – you offer hope for a brighter future to some of the world’s poorest communities. It really does make a lasting difference.

If you would like to hear more about ways to remember your loved one through CAFOD’s work, please get in touch with me on 020 7095 5348 or email remembrance@cafod.org.uk.

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