My Lenten digital detox – giving up Netflix for Lent

Fr Tim Byron SJ, from Stamford Hill is taking a digital detox and has given up Netflix for Lent. He updates us on his #GiveItUpChallenge.

So far so good. It has been surprisingly easy to wean myself off Netflix in the evening and I’m no longer suffering from excessive binge-watching.

Share your Lent challenge on Twitter

However, having allowed Lent to interrupt a couple of my favourite dramas, I do find myself wondering how Jimmy McGill is going to get himself out of his most recent pickle in Better Call Saul. Or when Carrie Mathison is going to be reunited with her daughter in Homeland. Continue reading “My Lenten digital detox – giving up Netflix for Lent”

Fast to go slow: how fasting can transform you this Lent

Susy works in the CAFOD Theology team. Although she hasn’t always looked forward to fasting, this year she is going vegan for Lent. Here she tells us how she thinks fasting for Lent can transform her, and her relationships.

Fasting. The word doesn’t fill most people with joy. I know for me there has often been a slight dread about fasting. It is not something to look forward to, is it? Eating less, maybe giving something up that we enjoy. A sacrifice – surely it will be painful?

Follow CAFOD on twitter for tips on how to keep going with your Lenten fast.

I think though, like anything else, how we view fasting, how we approach it, makes an awful lot of difference to the experience. When I was much younger there was a short time in my life when I fasted on bread and water once a week. I would get splitting headaches and I was always very relieved when the day was over. I saw it as perhaps helping in my relationship with God, but I don’t remember making any connections with those who struggle to have bread and water every day.

Having worked at CAFOD for fifteen years now, I see fasting in a different light. I also have a much more positive attitude towards it – it is actually something I can look forward to! Why? For four main reasons. I feel fasting can help transform me in four areas – in my relationship with God, in my relationship with others, with creation and with myself. Here’s how I see it:

Continue reading “Fast to go slow: how fasting can transform you this Lent”

A message to all those preparing to fast

Promise Simwinde Muleya works for one of our Caritas partners in Zimbabwe. As thousands of people across England and Wales prepare for CAFOD’s Family Fast Day, Promise shares a message of solidarity.

From Zimbabwe to you

To all those that are taking part in the Lent campaign, I have a special message to all of you.

I say to you, appealingly, imagine and remember the children and the breastfeeding mothers in Zimbabwe who hardly have a meal to eat each day.

Donate to CAFOD’s Lent Appeal

Continue reading “A message to all those preparing to fast”

A fruity challenge this Lent

We are Hal and Cherrie from London based east-meets-west electronic pop group Ooberfuse.

Hal Bangalore from Ooberfuse
Giving up all hot food and drinks to support CAFOD #GiveItUpChallenge

Hal could not really think of many specific food items that start with “H” aside from ham, hamburgers and halloumi so he thought he would just go for all “Hot” food and “Hot” drinks. This will be a real daily challenge as Hal loves his hot tea and drinks tea at least 7 times a day!

Cherrie is giving up cherries this Lent!
Cherrie is giving up cherries this Lent!

Cherrie will give up all food starting with ‘CH’ – CHicken, CHocolate, CHeese, CHips and CHerries etc.

She absolutely loves chocolates – she is a certified chocoholic, so the #Giveitupchallenge will be a tough everyday challenge for Lent. Usually post gigs and rehearsals, we all go out for fried chicken and chips, so this will be something that will need to change too.

Why we are taking this challenge this Lent

We are happy to be part of the #Giveitupchallenge as an act of solidarity, to help raise funds and help support families living in poverty overseas

Continue reading “A fruity challenge this Lent”

“Talking The Talk” – Giving up swearing for Lent

Human rights activist and blogger Amy has already had to give up a lot this year. Now she’s decided to give up one more habit for Lent – swearing. She tells us how a broken down car and a serendipitous sermon helped strengthen her resolve to take on the #GiveItUpChallenge.

If I am honest I don’t normally give anything up for Lent.  A number of years back I heard a sermon about how you could try and take something up for Lent instead  giving something up, so that year I decided to pray in my car instead of listening to the radio.  I honestly had the most amazing 40 days and felt so close to God by the end of it.

Continue reading ““Talking The Talk” – Giving up swearing for Lent”

How to mark Family Fast Day in your parish this Lent

Margaret Finn is a CAFOD supporter and parishioner at the Holy Name of Mary church in Middlesbrough. Here, Margaret writes about how the parish prepares for Family Fast Day at Lent.

Margaret is a CAFOD parish volunteer in Middlesbrough
Margaret is a CAFOD parish volunteer in Middlesbrough

Supporting CAFOD’s work is very important to people in our parish. We are always aware of those less fortunate than ourselves. This is across the age range of parishioners – from nursery children to grandparents. Children at St Edward’s, the school next door to the parish where I used to teach, take part with assemblies and fundraising events, while members of our Justice & Peace group help to prepare in the parish ahead of Ash Wednesday.

There are various things we do to get ready for Family Fast Day.

1. Pin up poster and put announcement in newsletter

A Family Fast Day poster
A Family Fast Day poster

Firstly, we have to let people know that Family Fast Day is coming up. We try to put up a poster at the entrance to the church and a notice in the newsletter a few weeks earlier so that people will be thinking about Lent before the season arrives. It’s always eye-catching and reminds us of the difference we can make.

This Lent, donate to CAFOD’s Family Fast Day Appeal.

Continue reading “How to mark Family Fast Day in your parish this Lent”

Going vegan for Lent

Susy works in the Theology team at CAFOD. This Lent, inspired in part by Laudato Si’, she will be going vegan. She tells us more about her reasons for abstaining from animal products and what she’s going to miss the most.

Thirty years ago my brother showed me a video (yes, it was a video in those days!) of a factory farm and from that day on I have been vegetarian. Or, to be more accurate, pescatarian.

I decided that there was so much choice in terms of available food, that there was no need to eat meat. I didn’t find it hard to be honest and I do not miss meat at all. However, when I spent a year in Chile, I think I must have been one of only two vegetarians in the whole country and I was viewed as somewhat suspect!

Thirty years on, I am now preparing to go vegan for Lent and hoping that I will start getting into habits that may last a life-time.

Have you decided what to give up for Lent yet? Tell us on Twitter or take our Lent quiz for inspiration.

Continue reading “Going vegan for Lent”

Your Harvest donations: progress in the Bolivian Altiplano

Your Harvest donations are a vital lifeline for people all over the world. Last Harvest we introduced you to a community in Bolivia and invited you to join them in their journey towards an abundant harvest. One year into the project, Nikki Evans, CAFOD’s Bolivia Programme Officer, revisits one of the families you have helped.

Your donation can sow an abundant harvest

I first met Rosa Mamani and her four small children in 2016. I was visiting families that had just joined CAFOD’s Hands On project in the highlands of Bolivia near Lake Titicaca.

Why are your donations needed?

Many of the poorest rural farmers live in this area known as the Altiplano. Nestled high in the Andes mountains at over 12,000 feet, this plateau is arid and the farmers live at the mercy of the unpredictable and challenging weather. Continue reading “Your Harvest donations: progress in the Bolivian Altiplano”

Meeting Edelmira ahead of Harvest Fast Day 2017

Tania works as Communications Officer in our Latin America Team.  Her role involves lots of opportunities to meet inspiring people like Edelmira, whose story of flourishing and achievement we are celebrating this Harvest Fast Day.

Donate to our Harvest Fast Day appeal

My first impressions of Edelmira when I met her in 2016, were of a friendly, welcoming woman, constantly busy. She was a little nervous of meeting me, a visitor from far away.  I was also nervous about visiting Edelmira.  CAFOD had sent me to interview her for our Connect2 El Salvador parish programme, and I was feeling the weight of responsibility!

Find out how your parish can join Connect2

Continue reading “Meeting Edelmira ahead of Harvest Fast Day 2017”

Brighten Up: Buzzing with fundraising ideas

Margaret Hodgson is a CAFOD school visitor and has been inspiring children to Brighten Up for Harvest Fast Day.

Find brighten Up resources for primary schools
St Bede’s are brightening up this Harvest Fast Day.

Are you planning to get involved with CAFOD’s Brighten Up event next week? St. Bede’s school in Darlington wanted to learn more about CAFOD’s work in El Salvador and invited me in to help them plan a Brighten Up fundraiser. It was the first time they had invited CAFOD into their school and so I was more than delighted to visit!

Book a CAFOD visitor for your school

Continue reading “Brighten Up: Buzzing with fundraising ideas”