Jenny Seymour is a schools volunteer for CAFOD Hallam and delivers workshops and assemblies to primary school children across the diocese
I was really excited when I read the headlines last week: “Pope Francis launches new CARITAS migration campaign.” Doesn’t sound intriguing or particularly exciting as a headline, but for me it means that the work I am doing within primary schools in my diocese is so current and consistent with the Catholic social teaching and global social justice. It means that the children who take part in our refugee pilgrimage and “share the journey” with refugees will feel as though they’re taking part in something much bigger. Hopefully, by hearing their parents and grandparents recognising this journey (after seeing Pope Francis’ empassioned plea) and the importance of walking alongside these poor people who have found the need to embark upon potentially treacherous journeys for a better and safer way of life, they will learn compassion towards them as well.
The schools team at CAFOD have been delivering the refugee pilgrimage, based upon the story of the boat that sunk off the coast of Lampedusa, for over a year now. As soon as the children complete their journey, we ask them to write a message of hope that are then either passed onto refugees or are offered up in a mass for refugees.
These messages have been absolutely inspiring for me and I hope that by following Pope Francis’ call to share the journey many adults will also feel as inspired to help those of God’s people less fortunate than ourselves to find a safe place to live and work. After all, this world is our common home and each and every one of us should have the same rights to share in it and live life to the fullest.
If you work in a school and want your pupils to take part in our pilgrimage, please contact your schools volunteer or Jeremy at the CAFOD Hallam office (see details at the bottom of this blog).