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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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 Hands On project has just begun – find out more and get involved.

The latest news from Vladimir’s neighbours:

Comment below to send your message to the community in Bolivia.

5 ways to have your own Royal Wedding

Harry and Meghan have been busy in the past few months planning their wedding – and so has Therese! She’s been enjoying some of the slightly different ways that weddings can be celebrated. If you’re planning your wedding, why not see if you can encompass some of these ideas.

Who doesn’t love a wedding?

Full of love, happiness, cheesy music and people dressed in their best. It’s a fantastic day of bringing families and friends together to have a great celebration.

Proposal
Joe proposes to Therese

My boyfriend Joe proposed to me last Valentines day and we were amazed with all the messages of love we received. We have (well, really, I have) been keeping a keen eye on the build up to the latest Royal Wedding. I have  particularly been paying attention to some little breaks in tradition, like asking guests to donate to their chosen charities rather than gifts. If I were a guest at Harry and Meghan’s wedding I would be rather relieved by this request, I can’t even begin to imagine what you would buy a Prince and future Princess!

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Coping without social media

Georgia, a student at De Montfort University in Leicester, has been on a digital detox for Lent, giving up all forms of social media. She told us how she’s got on with her Give It Up Challenge.

At the time of writing this blog I am 33 days into not using Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. I can’t believe I have come this far- the end is near.

This Lenten challenge has definitely been one of the toughest ones that I have decided to take on. I have found that the most difficult part of the challenge so far is feeling disconnected. The dreaded ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) has always been in the back of my mind. I’ve found that I’ve missed Facebook the most- practically anyway. It is hard having to rely on people to relay information you need whether that be for events or notifications from my sports team. I wouldn’t say its my favourite social media app- but the most useful for my everyday life.

The reaction I have had to this challenge has been “are you crazy?”, “what do you do on your phone then?”. I have to admit these were my first thoughts when I began contemplating the idea. I think the most unexpected thing however is that I don’t miss it anywhere near as much as I thought I would. It has just caused minor inconveniences. I definitely haven’t felt like I have been missing out on anything socially like I did before with seeing people’s snapchat and Instagram stories. Because if its not there to see there is no FOMO.  This realization has definitely emphasized how people’s online persona is so different from their reality.

See our favourite Easter prayers

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Get the most out of your Lent donation

Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Lent Appeal. Your gifts will change lives around the world. And if you donated between 13 February and 12 May, the UK Government will double your donation, giving twice the number of children the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong. Match funding for the appeal has now ended but you can still donate

Runa Begum is a volunteer in CAFOD’s digital team. She tells us why she was so impressed by the opportunity to have your donation doubled this lent, and by CAFOD supporters who continue to donate generously.

For the last few years I have been thinking more about donating with maximum impact – giving so my money goes further to needy causes. I often research the projects charities fund to see how far my pound can go. I think a lot of other people are feeling similar – we want our charitable donations to go as far as possible and to do as much good as possible.

Money raised for CAFOD’s Family Fast Day appeal this Lent will definitely do as much good as possible. Donations will be match funded by the UK Government which means your donation will be doubled, at no extra cost to you. More importantly, it means your gift will have double the impact in communities in Zimbabwe, Eritrea and around the world.

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What Giving up ‘Bad language’ for Lent is teaching me

Blogger Amy has taken up the challenge of giving up ‘Bad words’ this Lent. She tells us how she is getting on and what this challenge is teaching her.

I have now done just over four weeks of my Lent challenge and I have been surprised and amazed each day by my journey so far. I am so humbled by how God has met me in this time.  Each week I have learned something new and been pointed in a new direction. Even in the difficult moments it has still been a joy to experience. I love the fact that God is graciously taking the time to change me.  Change is hard and discipline is even harder. However, I truly think that when God disciplines us this is an expression of love and affection.

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