Gospel reflection: Excess baggage weighs us down

In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus sends out his disciples to spread the Good News, telling them that they must take no possessions with them. Volunteer Trevor Stockton reflects on this gospel reading and how we are all called to live more simply.

Based on the gospel for Sunday 15 July – Mark 6: 7-13

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“He instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff”

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Baking and fundraising – Anne’s recipe for success

Anne works in our fundraising team. Every year she looks forward to combining her two passions of fundraising and baking at the Great CAFOD Bake Off.

When I was growing up I knew that my parish’s annual pilgrimage to Lourdes was soon approaching. Not because of any announcements at my church, but due to the activity in my family kitchen.

My busy mum did not have the time to volunteer on these pilgrimages, which travelled overland from Edinburgh to Lourdes. She did, however, offer her wonderful talent to it, through baking.  In the days leading up to the pilgrimage I would come home from school, or wake up to the smell of baking, which filled our house. The kitchen surfaces were covered in baked treats, including family favourites of tea loafs, empire biscuits and fairy cakes.

Have you held a cake sale or other fundraising event for CAFOD recently? Remember to pay in your donation. 

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Gospel reflection: Jesus is rejected in his home town

Every Friday we offer you a reflection on the Sunday gospel. This week’s reflection was written by Trevor Stockton, a CAFOD supporter from St Anthony of Padua parish, Wolverhampton.

Based on the gospel for Sunday 8 July – Mark 6:1-6

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“Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him…?”

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Standing up for migrants on the move in Bangladesh

Pakhi is a former migrant worker from Bangladesh who now helps other migrants to protect their rights.
Pakhi visited the UK last month to explain how she had turned her experiences as a migrant worker into a force for change in Bangladesh.

Jess, a member of the Asia and Middle East team recently met with Pakhi * a former migrant worker from Bangladesh who now helps other migrants to protect their rights.

When I met Pakhi, she described her experience of migrating to Kuwait as a young woman to take up employment as a domestic worker.

Pakhi explained, “I went to Kuwait to start sending money back to my elderly mother in Bangladesh and save up for my future. I worked in Kuwait for more than 2 years and I was forced to work around 20 hours a day by my employer. I was paid for only 6 months work and my passport was confiscated. I was confined to my employer’s house and I wasn’t allowed to contact my family back home”.

Share the Journey: sign our petition

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Share the Journey with arms wide open

You are invited to imagine Dilda’s journey who fled Myanmar. Hear Pope Francis’ call to Share the Journey with our brothers and sisters, with arms wide open.

I invite you to close your eyes for a moment. You are at home. You can see thick smoke rising from the house across the street. People are shouting. Your neighbour’s house is on fire. You escape with your family, leaving everything behind.

You start a long journey to find a new home. You don’t know how long you will be walking, when you will next eat or where you will rest.  Alone and afraid… you need someone to talk to, a sister or brother to reach out and share the journey with you…

This was just like Dilda’s journey. She fled Myanmar to escape violence in her village. She says, “We didn’t bring a thing. We just grabbed the children and ran.”

Dilda left behind her home, her possessions – everything – for a temporary shelter on the side of the road. Her children are scarred by what they have seen.

We cannot cross by on the other side while our neighbours are struggling. We can share the journey, we can share our hope.

Discover how to Share the Journey

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Finding my inner strength by walking the Camino

Cristina grew up a stone’s throw from the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. She always knew she wanted to walk the trail one day. Here she shares how walking the Camino helped her find her inner strength.

The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes. The roads stretch across Europe and come together at the tomb of St. James (Santiago in Spanish). Santiago de Compostela is in Galicia, north-west Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth.

About 250,000 people walk all or part of the centuries-old Camino de Santiago trail across the Spanish countryside every year in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The motivations vary. Some undertake it as a religious pilgrimage. There are hikers who walk the route for travel, sport, or simply the challenge of weeks of walking in a foreign land.

Organise a walk of any length in solidarity with refugees – download our Share the Journey organiser’s guide

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Step into the Gap: How Cambodia changed me

Rod travelled to Cambodia with the Step into the Gap programme to meet CAFOD partners and the communities they work with.  One year on from his trip, Rod reflects on what it all meant to him.

Rod was a part of our gap year programme.
Rod reflects on his trip to Cambodia with CAFOD.

The way in which Cambodia changed me seems to come into view and then fall out again, oscillating in the busyness of life. When I was speaking to people about my trip to Cambodia almost every day, when it was my life, the changes it had made to me were more obvious. Now, to a certain extent they have become more blurred, because I am not thinking about the trip so much. But they are also clearer because I am able to look back at how it changed me from a distance.

Apply to be a Step into the Gap volunteer  

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Hands On Doutchi: Thanks to you they have hope

Thanks to incredible regular support from CAFOD supporters, life in Doutchi has changed for the better.

Despite the challenges of living on the edge of the Sahara, the Doutchi community have hope.

Hope in the knowledge that they can prepare for the future with confidence.

Knowing that the tools and skills they have gained over the past 3 years, will mean that they can provide for their family now, and well in to the future.

Niger is the world’s poorest country and is also one of the hottest. Getting enough food to eat is the biggest challenge for people living here.

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Hands On Bolivia: You’re helping dreams come true

At the start of your Hands On journey, you met Vladimir. He talked of his desire to provide for his family with good, healthy food.

Thanks to your regular support, and Vladimir’s hard work and determination, he has achieved his dreams.

“When I got involved with Fundacion Nuna, it was as if the door had opened, and I could reach my goals and dreams.”

 Our next project is beginning soon – find out more and get involved.

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Should Catholics get involved in politics?

We asked three Catholics to share their views on faith, politics and campaigning. Here’s what they said:

Write to your Member of Parliament (MP)

Sr Bridgetta Rooney CSJP is a CAFOD campaigner who takes action through our MP Correspondent scheme

“Catholic Social Teaching has always urged Christians to become involved in politics, reminding us that it is our duty to

Sr Bridgetta
Sr Bridgetta writes to her MP regularly

speak out for the poor, the marginalised and those with special needs, who are not always heard by those in power. Being involved in CAFOD’s work as an MP Correspondent keeps me alert to current issues that I can write to my MP about and pray for.

No matter where I have lived I have always been able to contact my MP about issues I feel strongly about; whether it’s meeting them in the street, at church or in the local supermarket, or by writing to them. Our MP for Charnwood – Edward Argar – has been very eager to meet with myself and others to talk about issues, and in our correspondence has always provided a personal message letting me know he has read my email. He gives reasons for his stance, which is sometimes different from my own.

As Christians it’s our duty to engage in politics and to actively voice our opinions and stand up for what is right. If we do not speak up and if we don’t vote, then we can’t complain when we get a government we never wanted.”

Become an MP Correspondent today and we’ll write to let you know how you can get more involved with our campaign work.

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