CAFOD – Empowering women from day one

Becky is the World Gifts manager at CAFOD. She tells us about the inspiration she gathers from our female founders and our new director, as well as the women she learns about through her research for World Gifts.

When I first looked at applying to CAFOD, one of the things that really struck me about them as a charity is the story of their founders. Back in 1960, Jackie Stuyt and Elspeth Orchard, alongside women from other Women’s Catholic unions, joined together to run the first Family Fast Day.

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Lent reflection: Another chance to change

This Sunday is the anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Oscar Romero. Reflecting on Sunday’s gospel (Luke 13:1-9), Catherine from our Theology team reflects on the great saint’s example and his reminder that we all need constant conversion.  

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Lent: Making space for daily reflection

Nalini Nathan, who coordinates our work with supporters, reflects on the challenge of making time for daily reflection throughout Lent. This year she has been following the CAFOD online Lent calendar, and here she shares her thoughts.

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Lent reflection: A future transformed

In this reflection on the Transfiguration of the Lord (Luke 9:28-36), taken from our Lent calendar, Catherine from our Theology team reflects on how lives can be transformed by hope.  

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Fasting: what it means to me

In preparation for Lent Family Fast Day, we asked Fr Nicholas Crowe some questions about Lent. He told us what fasting means to him and why fasting this Lent is a real opportunity for spiritual growth and love of neighbour.

What does fasting mean to you?

Let’s start by thinking about why fasting in a Christian sense is different from dieting. It is because Christian fasting comes from an act of faith. It is our faith that things can be different, that through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are called to be a new creation.

So often our cravings and routines can become selfish and block out God and the needs of others. So we need Lent as a time to turn back to God, to make a special effort to let Jesus be the centre of our lives. I see Lent as an invitation to renew and deepen our conversion, a spiritual gym work out. However, in our Lenten gym, God’s grace lifts the weights and causes the real change in us. All we have to do is turn up.

Taking part in Family Fast Day is our way of turning up, of saying yes to God. Yes God, cause great change in me this Lent. Be bold enough to join the fast and let Jesus show you the injustice, the marginalised and the unloved that need you today.

Donate the money you save through fasting to our Family Fast Day appeal

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Lent reflection: The shadow of hunger looms

In this reflection on Jesus’ temptation in the desert (Luke 4:1-13) taken from our Lent calendar, Catherine from our Theology team considers the dark shadow that hunger can cast on people’s lives.

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We celebrate the International Day of Women, with Krubah Weedor

Willet Salue is CAFOD’s local expert in Liberia, she tells us about Krubah Weedor who has fought for herself and women in Liberia to inherit land. A success we can all celebrate on International Day of Women.

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Giving up plastic for Lent

Julia is in CAFOD’s Education team. Here she tells us why giving up plastic will be so difficult.

Julia is taking on the CAFOD Lent Challenge
Julia is taking on the Give it up challenge by giving up Plastic

This lent I am challenging myself to give up buying single use plastic. You may have heard the term ‘single use plastic’ in the news recently. It means plastic that is used one time before being thrown away or put into the recycling bin.

Single use plastic is used in a lot of things for example straws, paper cups, water bottles, packaging, shampoo bottles, toothpaste tubes, make up products, medicines and plenty of other items. I use these items every day.

Still not sure what to give up for Lent? Take the CAFOD Lent quiz for inspiration!

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Step into the Gap: Wasting our world away

Niamh Melton is a CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer and is based at the Briars Centre, Nottingham. She recently returned from an overseas visit to Uganda. Here, she reflects on the experiences she had there.

Apply to Step into the Gap today

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Soup-er lunches for Lent

Joe, a volunteer from the CAFOD Birmingham team shares some inspiration from the St Osburg’s parish in Coventry on running a soup-erb lunch for Family Fast Day.

With Lent rapidly approaching, our thoughts will be turning to what we might give up, but, even more importantly, how we and our communities might give. Well, if we’re looking for inspiration, the people of St Osburg’s parish in Coventry provide a wonderful example.

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