Back to school: Volunteering with CAFOD

Kezia is from Brentwood and has just finished a year volunteering with CAFOD as part of the Young Leadership programme, and has written  about her experience to inspire others to get involved this year. 

Young leader Kezia
Kezia taking part in the Power to be campaign.

My year with CAFOD would not have started without my faith. My faith drove me to apply for CAFOD’s young leadership programme and to develop my passion for helping others. I had heard about CAFOD through my school but not in much depth, so when I applied for the programme, I didn’t know what to expect. Looking back, what I loved about the programme is the hands-on attitude. In my spare time, I do a lot of dance and that has made me want to get in and get involved. The young leadership programme is all about getting involved and raising awareness of CAFOD’s campaigns, so this programme was perfect for me. I was lucky enough to experience this for a whole year.

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Time for Time Out

Daniel Hale is CAFOD’s Head of Campaigns. In November, CAFOD will be hosting retreats all around the country, giving supporters a chance to reflect on faith and taking action in light of the Year of Mercy.

There are only three more weeks until the end of the Year of Mercy, the holy year called by Pope Francis to reflect on the mercy of God. Of course reflection is good at any time, but why did the Pope ask for this year to be the year?

I think it was a clever way to ask us to take a fresh look at the problems faced by the world and its people. The refugee crisis, to which Pope Francis had tried to draw so much attention was one such issue.

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The Lampedusa Cross has been an image of hope during the Year of Mercy

 

Over several years Francis had done a lot to promote the cause of refugees, including visiting Lampedusa, where so many migrants washed up on European shores. But the world was slow to act.

Send refugees a message of hope

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Great Generation: Faith in Action award

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Julia is making new year resolutions for September!

Julia from CAFOD’s Youth Team shares her news year’s resolution for the new academic year and shares how young people can do their CYMED Faith in Action Award volunteering with CAFOD.

“The times we live in do not call for young ‘couch potatoes’ but for young people with shoes, or better, boots laced.” Pope Francis, World Youth Day, 2016.

I’ve made a new year’s resolution… I need to go to World Youth Day! Even though by Panama 2019, I’ll be (just!) out of the age bracket, I’ll have to find a group to go with. I know I’ll make it one day!

Download CAFOD resources to support your CYMFED Faith in Action award

Each person I speak to who was in Krakow this year has something amazing to say: ‘Exhilarating’, ‘electric’, ‘joy-filled’. ‘The Pope said some really inspiring and challenging things’. ‘WYD’s about our relationship with Jesus and what we do about that. To be a couch potato or to be active.’

An amazing group of young adults went to WYD in Rio in 2013 with CAFOD – volunteers from the UK alongside CAFOD partners in Brazil including Marianne and Maristely.

You can’t help but feel the energy and inspiration.

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Why I volunteer: “life and faith are interconnected”

Margaret, a spirituality volunteer from the Shrewsbury diocese, shares the strong role of her faith, and how this motivates her to volunteer.

I have always been interested in the work of CAFOD, and inspired and impressed by its spirit, which is rooted in the Gospel. For me, having faith cannot be separated from living this faith, in the reality of everyday life.

I have spent my professional life in education, in one form or another. My last job was Assistant Director of Schools in the Diocese of Shrewsbury, where I worked for 11 ½ years. I retired in July 2011, and since then I have been involved in working in different parishes around the Diocese, delivering both training and reflective sessions for readers, Eucharistic Ministers, parish retreats, and so on.

CAFOD staff and volunteers join Bishop John Arnold in prayer in Romero House
CAFOD staff and volunteers join Bishop John Arnold in prayer in Romero House

At present, I am working as a spirituality volunteer. This includes helping to prepare liturgies for various occasions, linking Scripture with CST, and rooting this in everyday life. Who knows what else I may do!

See more of our volunteer opportunities

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My Harvest Fast Day – a day in solidarity with those who do not have enough

Rosemary has supported CAFOD for over 30 years – buying World Gifts, taking part in LiveSimply, praying for our partners around the world, and even running the London Marathon. Rosemary tells us why giving is important to her and what her plans are for Harvest Fast Day.

Justice in my family

Rosemary after running the London Marathon for CAFOD in 2015
Rosemary after running the London Marathon for CAFOD in 2015

When my husband and I first moved to Norwich, about 34 years ago, our finances were quite tricky. We prayed and decided we would put God first. We decided to tithe our income and give 10 per cent back to the Lord for his Kingdom work. A big proportion of our funds went to CAFOD. We wanted our tithing to go towards justice and peace work because we believe there has to be justice before there can be peace. How can people live peacefully in their hearts when others are struggling? As Pope Paul said: “If you want peace, work for justice.”

Download Fast Day resources to help you organise a Fast Day collection in your parish.

I brought my children up to think about justice within the family and being fair. We don’t take things from each other without asking because we’re depriving that person of a chance to be generous. If you’re asked, the kind thing is to say: “Yes, you may borrow it.” But you have to ask first, otherwise you’re taking from that person and presuming they’ll be generous. Then they can have the blessing from making a good choice. Continue reading “My Harvest Fast Day – a day in solidarity with those who do not have enough”