Three simple ways to remember loved ones this November

During this period of remembrance, Maggie Mairura from our Remembrance Team shares three simple ways she remembers her loved ones this November.

Light a candle in memory of a loved one

Iona Abbey
Iona Abbey

I have always loved lighting candles and since I took up this role last year I have lit many more! Visiting places whether on holiday or with work, I like to find a church so I can light a candle. I find there is something comforting in watching the flame flicker gently in a votive stand, whether in small chapel or a huge cathedral. A feeling of permanence knowing that the candle will remain burning for a few hours or a few days.

This summer I spent some time on Iona, volunteering with the Iona Community and working in the kitchen. Every Wednesday and every Sunday, I lit a candle and said a prayer for all our CAFOD supporters and their loved ones.

CAFOD’s Memorial Mass – 2 November 2023

Maggie as a baby with sister Maureen
Maggie as a baby with sister Maureen on the left

When I was a young girl growing up in Liverpool, on the Feast of All Souls we would put a biscuit and a cup of milk out for my sister Maureen who had died aged 6. I don’t have any memory of her, only through photos, as I was two when she died. Now this day has even more meaning for me, as it was on this Feast Day five years ago that my daughter Anna died, suddenly and unexpectedly. So to be able join with others for a Memorial Mass on this special Feast Day, as we remember our loved ones, again brings great comfort as we unite in our grief and our loss and holding our loved ones and each other in prayer.

Watch the recording of the Memorial Mass which took place on Thursday 2 November at St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne. 

Create a Candlelight Fund in memory of a loved one

Anna Kwamboka Mwebi,Tess O’Reilly, Anna Mairura

After Mum died in 2017, I started a CAFOD Candlelight Fund in her memory. I knew about them as a friend had a fund for her husband and I wanted to mark mum’s birthday and to remember her at Christmas; those times when I would have spent some money on a gift for her. And what better way than to donate in her memory and know that her light would continue to shine through CAFOD’s work.

And after Anna died it seemed only right to add her and her other grandma to the fund. All reunited. I have now set up a regular monthly gift to their Candlelight Fund and it brings me comfort knowing that, in their name, CAFOD’s local experts work with families and communities to build a brighter future.

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