Jeremy Cain, Community Participation Coordinator for CAFOD in Hallam, explains why he finds the people of st. Gerard’s so inspiring.
Yesterday we celebrated our annual CAFOD Memorial Mass here in the diocese of Hallam. It was a wonderful opportunity to remember friends and supporters of CAFOD who have passed away in the last year but was made all the more special by the warm welcome offered by Fr. Des Sexton and the people of St. Gerard’s, Rotherham.
There is a remarkable sense of community at St. Gerard’s, and you get the feeling that everybody looks out for everybody else. But their concern isn’t just limited to the parish- thanks to the “Soup Slurpers”, it reaches out to people all around the world.
The Soup Slurpers meet every Wednesday in the parish room to share a soup lunch and raise money for CAFOD. Each week the members of the group make a small donation but it quickly adds up and, whenever there’s an emergency, they’re ready to help.
When we launched our East Africa Crisis appeal last March, they sent us a cheque for £811, a fantastic demonstration of their generosity. Thanks to that generosity, joined with that of parishes all over England and Wales, we’ve been able to provide food, water, healthcare and sanitation to the most vulnerable communities affected and change people’s lives for the better.
So why not slurp some soup yourselves? If you do it regularly, it’s not just a great way to support CAFOD but can really bring your parish community together. Start planning now and, by the time we get to Lent, you’ll be ready to get going. Or, if you move quickly, you might be ready to start in January and offer people a great way to keep up with their new year weight loss resolutions!
But back to the present. As we move through the last week of November towards Advent, please remember our friends and supporters who have passed away in the previous year. If you would like to spend some time praying for them, you can find their names by clicking on the link below.
You might also like to remember one of your loved ones by setting up a Candlelight Fund, a special way to celebrate a life as well as a way to touch a thousand more.