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FLOWERS FOR PUENTECITOS

On the first Saturday of Advent 2016, for the third year running, a group of parishioners and friends gathered to make our own moss rings. We have grown from a small group in the narthex to 35 in the school hall.
    
At 11am we commence our Christmas preparations in a simple way far from the commercial hustle and bustle. Instead we surround ourselves in moss,spruce,cones,apples oranges etc. to create something beautiful with our own hands using a basis provided by nature. We are spurred on by much chatting, laughter and the advice and encouragement of one another. Not to mention a glass or two of sherry!

 

By 2pm we have all produced a beautiful Christmas wreath of which everyone is different. We have shared a simple lunch together and raised £420 to send to our Connect2 village of Puentecitos. A lovely way to start the preparation and joy of Advent.

 

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IMG 0997IMG 0995IMG 0994Puentecitos wreath money


 

LATEST NEWS FROM EL SALVADOR

Bishop Arnold visits Puentecitos

In November 2016, the Chair of CAFOD, Bishop John Arnold, visited El Salvador and Nicaragua. The last stop of his 10-day programme was to visit our friends in Puentecitos. Click here to view Bishop Arnold's post

 

CATCHING UP WITH SIBIA

Click here for the latest news.


 

WALK OF WITNESS IN SOLIDARITY WITH REFUGEES

CAFOD Walk of Witness for Refugees – Plymouth 19 November 2016. The pictures, below, were taken of the walk and reflection on 19 November which was lead by Bishop Mark, accompanied by Lt Heather O’Connell-Royal Navy, Fr Richard Silk-Church of England and others.

Walk 1 Walk 2

Walk 4Walk 5

Bishop Mark reminded us that we had come to pray in solidarity with the 60 million people in our world who have been forced from their homes by war and persecution. He said that we will go home after meeting in Plymouth [on 19 November]; they may never see their homes again.

Walk 3aWalk 6

Fr Richard recalled the words of Pope Francis that “they are men and women like us … seeking a better life, starving, persecuted, wounded, exploited, victims of war.

Walk 8

 

The Lampedusa Cross

In the photographs, you can see Bishop Mark carrying a cross, which is the Lampedusa Cross, which was mad by Sicilian carpenter Francesco Tuccio. Francesco makes rough crosses from the wreckage of boats carrying refugees that sank off the island of Lampedusa to offer to survivors as a symbol of their rescue and a sign of hope.

Francesco explains:

"In 2009, refugees started landing on the coast of Lampedusa. We, as residents, got to know the people, the victims and their families. I felt angry that no one was caring about so many tragedies and losses. It was a real injustice.

"We were on the front line to help: to welcome refugees, feed them and treat them with respect. I got the impression that for the media they were second-class citizens not worthy of attention, not even worth being mentioned in the papers.

"I had never witnessed so much suffering in all my life. To see people going through so much pain, seeing mothers losing their children or a husband was very hard. It is difficult to describe how I felt when faced with so many tragedies.

"So, as a Catholic inspired by the suffering Jesus Christ went through on the cross, I wanted to create crosses to give hope and a better future to those who were suffering so much. This action has been appreciated by so many people.

"The wood comes from the boats in which the refugees travel, some are carried to the coast by big sea waves. Most come from boats found and taken to the coast by the helpers who rescue refugees.

"I was very pleased when one of the crosses was displayed in the museum. I hope it is a strong signal to encourage people to embrace brotherhood. There is so much need for that.  We are living on this earth on a temporary basis, we all deserve the opportunity to live with dignity.

"I hope my crosses can play a role in sharing a strong message for politicians: we need brotherhood and solidarity. I would like everyone to look at the crosses and see all the suffering that our brothers and sisters go througI hope that politicians will listen and decide to start acting to relieve the pain of those who are struggling right now. I hope they will establish a process for humanitarian aid to be delivered effectively.

"These people risk their lives every day because they are looking for freedom from war and desperation. I hope the crosses will be a strong reminder to everyone of what is happening. No one should forget.I hope all of us can contribute to helping them. There is still too much indifference. My hope is that things will change for better for them all."


CAFOD NEWSLETTERS

 

 Click here to see September 2016 Newsletter.

 

Click here to see June 2016 Newsletter.


 

LATEST NEWS FROM EL SALVADOR - APRIL 2016

"Divine Providence"

Click here to catch up with the latest news

REFUGEE UPDATE

We have received the following message from Mary Conway who works for Plymouth diocese on Justice & Peace matters:

 From: Mary Conway

Date: Friday, 29 April 2016 at 16:44
To: Mary Conway
Subject: Refugee Update
 

Dear Friends

There is no sign that the British Government is softening its attitude towards people seeking sanctuary. Thousands of the world’s most vulnerable people are still dying trying to reach safety in Europe; those who reach here suffer increasingly inhumane conditions. The dominant response has been based on detainment and deterrence. (The government announced in March that it will donate 40 Defender ‘Tithonus’ Land Rovers worth a total of £443,000 to Bulgaria to support the latter’s border control, despite documented abuses of refugees by Bulgarian authorities  see here.)  It has recently refused to take unaccompanied child refugees who have reached Europe, defeating the amendments proposed in the House of Lords by Lord Dubbs, who himself came to the UK in the Kindertransport (see here).

Of the Syrian Resettlement Programme Cardinal Vincent Nichols recently said: “At the moment it’s going very slowly and it’s a great disappointment. The Government should have seen how many it could absorb in the first year and then multiply that by five” (BBC Radio 4, April 16th). As a recent report A Safe Haven (contributed towards by CAFOD) points out: the UK has provided protection to just 0.15% of the estimated 4.8m Syrian refugees The report makes   recommendations for opening more safe and legal paths to Europe and suggests ways to achieve a more humanitarian response (read  here).

Moreover, people seeking sanctuary who have already reached this country are being penalised by the latest Immigration Bill – they will still not be allowed to work, and may be subject to indefinite detention. Many are still destitute.  People given leave to remain find it almost impossible to bring their families to join them.

However the good news is the number of people across the country who are responding to refugees “in a way worthy of our common humanity” (Pope Francis, Lesbos). In a GlobeScan poll for the BBC 72% of Britons were in favour of accepting Syrian refugees (BBC 28th April). Many people in the South West have offered accommodation or practical help, or are collecting goods for Calais and Syria. In March a day was held at All Saints’ Highertown in Truro to celebrate people who had been moved to go to Lesbos and to Calais with aid or to volunteer and to listen to their stories see   http://www.asht.org.uk/refugee-crisis.html 

Syrian Resettlement Programme:

  1. Cornwall  3 Syrian families have recently arrived in Cornwall under the SRP and have received a warm welcome. They are not being housed in social housing stock. At present Cornwall Council aims to take 10 families over 3The Council will be responsible for statutory provision but has contracted out ‘Integration’ to START –a Plymouth based refugee support organisation  http://www.studentsandrefugeestogether.com/) who will be working closely with the Home Office. For more information and to find out how you can be involved clickhere]

Plymouth Council aims to welcome 25 Syrian families over 3 years (to be housed in private rented accommodation). Further information see  http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/refugees

Exeter will be welcoming families: the number and the timescale confidential at present.

Dorset no councils at present part of the scheme

What you can do

 

Listen to the stories:

  • Jesuit Refugee Service Europe has been accompanying and listening to people seeking sanctuary. Meet them here
  • Refugee Support Devon read local stories here 

Pray:

 

Lobby:  

  • Find out how you MP voted on the amendment on unaccompanied children  http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ and write to them.
  • In Dorset encourage your local council to become part of the SRP

Join:   

  • Refugees Welcome  http://www.refugees-welcome.org.uk/ There are groups so far in Bude, Crediton, South Devon, East Devon, Sherborne, Totnes and Truro see website for contact details Training in Crediton 31st May 2016 from 6:00pm—8:00pm Mackarness Hall, High Street, Honiton Devon EX14 1PG  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • City of Sanctuary Exeter, Bournemouth, Poole  https://cityofsanctuary.org/
  • PooleChurches Together is setting up a Refugee Champions scheme and hopes to appoint a Co-ordinator. Further information from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Wimborne Safe Havens This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Totnes Beyond Borders  https://beyondborderstotnes.org.uk/how-you-can-help/

http://lovinghumanity.org.uk/

Donate:   

  • Amy Peake from St Austell founded Loving Humanity  to alleviate health problems associated with the lack of good quality and affordable sanitary pads, incontinence pads and nappies in refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey. The scheme aims to restore dignity and  create employment for groups of women refugees through providing simple technology and training.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">http://lovinghumanity.org.uk/
  • Parishes for Peace founded by Della Shenton Torquay links UK parishes with the Jordanian parishes caring for Iraqi Christian refugees; UK Christian schools with Christian schools in Jordan  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    01803 314868
  • Cornwall:  a fund has been set up by the Transformation Cornwall team working with Cornwall Community Foundation for those wishing to contribute financially to the SRP (eg school uniforms etc) contact Debbie Croucher  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Facebook  
  1.  

Knit:

Please let me know of your activities.

With prayers,

Mary 

 

 

** To sign a petition asking the government not to turn its

back onunaccompanied child refugees in Europe go to:

 

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/12833 

 


 

PRAY FOR PEACE IN SYRIA

Here is an extract from the CAFOD blog Lenten works of mercy: Clothe the naked
Pray for peace in Syria:
"Hearing about …….. and the stories from the camps in Lebanon made me think again about the continuing refugee debate in our country, and the manner in which it’s often portrayed in the media. Are we clothing this issue with dignity and compassion? Are we showing the mercy that’s being asked of us? - Sarah Burrows from CAFOD’s Youth Team.
Click here:  Pray for peace in Syria to read the full article.
 

THANKS

Simon Giarchi, Cafod manager for our diocese, has written to us as follows:

 

Dear Friends,

Huge thanks for promoting this year’s Lent Fast Day and our UK Aid Matched Funding Lenten fundraising  to ‘Turn on the Taps’ for our sisters and brothers.

Parishes like yours and school communities across England and Wales have been fasting, fundraising and reflecting in support of communities in Uganda living without access to water. Every £1 raised for our Lent Appeal will be doubled by the UK government, making every effort worth twice as much for people living in poverty around the world....

 ....Thank you again for all you do for CAFOD’s work. Do let us know how we can do more to support you and your community.  

 All the very best and every blessings

 Simon


 

 WORLD HUMANITARIAN SUMMIT

CAFOD has written to say that we are all shocked and saddened by the news of the current refugee crisis. In May this year, the World Humanitarian Summit will bring together world leaders, NGOs like CAFOD, United Nations agencies and those directly affected. CAFOD points out that it is an important opportunity to propose solutions to pressing humanitarian issues and to set the tone for the coming years. Please write to your MP to ask him/her to invite the Prime Minister to attend to show the UK’s strong commitment to humanitarian leadership?

Click here to find out more.


 

ST VALENTINE'S DAY - OPEN YOUR (GREEN) HEART

Bernard

Beautiful things can happen when you make, wear and share a green heart on St Valentine's Day.

Click here to find out more from the Caholic South West article.


 

PUENTECITOS

Connect 2 – El Salvador, Puentecitos: click here to see the latest news about Puentecitos.

 

See below the letter sent from our parish to the people of Puentecitos:

 

Hello,

The seasons are moving on and it has been a busy time within our parish. The summer saw the community come together for the summer fete, which was held on a glorious summer's day in the grounds of St. Joseph’s. The Church was open and was bedecked with flowers of every description around the whole Church. There were many stalls which drew in parishioners of all ages. For the children there were games, a bouncy castle and pony rides and there were plenty of tempting food offerings for all.

The summer also brings in many visitors to the parish, as Dorset is a beautiful county and attracts many families for their summer holidays to enjoy the beaches, coastal walks and attractions like Bovington Tank Museum and Monkey World. We always enjoy welcoming people to our parish Masses and pray that they have good weather while they are with us.

September brought the parish together for a Parish Garden Party, which was held in the grounds of St. Edward’s in Wareham. Although the weather was a little grey it was a wonderful occasion. Generous parishioners donated tasty sandwiches and delicious cakes and it was a happy afternoon where people came together to relax and chat and take time to enjoy being a part of our Parish.

September also saw the beginning of the new school year and the children returned to St Mary’s and St. Joseph’s, our Parish school to begin their education. New children joined the school in the Reception class. Mass was held in the Church to celebrate the beginning of the new school year for the children, their families and parishioners.

At the beginning of each month we now have a Parish Mass, which provides an opportunity for the whole Parish to come together to celebrate and worship. The Mass held in October was dedicated to celebrating the Harvest and remembering those who have no food. The children from the school had collected fresh produce which had been grown during the summer and presented as an Offering at Mass. For some considerable time the Parish has been donating food which goes to a foodbank and which is given to needy individuals and families in the area. At the Parish Mass parishioners brought a whole range of food items which were displayed around the Alter at St. Joseph’s and was a warming sight. All of the food was then donated to those in need. Father Paul described this as ‘Faith in Action’. The Parish Mass is a special Mass and the choir and musicians always prepare pieces of music, which adds to the celebration of our faith.

The Cafod group with Father Paul’s support has begun to introduce ‘Live Simply’, which is aimed to make all parishioners more aware of how to make best use of the resources we have as individuals and within our parish community. A Fashion sale was organised which raised valuable funds, which were donated to a local charity. The Live Simply group is providing tips to encourage us all to be less wasteful in many areas of our lives.

Some of the younger children from the parish have begun their preparations for receiving their First Holy Communion, which we will celebrate with them in the summer of next year. Autumn has now set in around us; the trees have turned a wonderful range of yellow, orange, browns and reds. Our clocks have gone back an hour and the nights are drawing in much earlier. Within a few short weeks we shall be preparing within the season of Advent to celebrate the birth of Our Lord.

I wish you all well and that life within your community continues to prosper.

 

Kind Regards,

Win Sheldon, on behalf of the Parish of Our Lady Queen of the Martyrs and St. Joseph


 

 

 

CAFOD CLIMATE PETITION

 

 On Sunday 13th September 2015, our CAFOD representative, Bernard White, gave parishioners a talk on the CAFOD Climate Petition. On the following evening, he gave a more informal version of the talk to Weymouth Catenians. Due to the imoportance of the message, we reproduce the talk below:

 

"After mass today, I’ll be in the porch asking you to sign this CAFOD petition to the Prime Minister, David Cameron. It says:

 

Inspired by our Catholic faith and Pope Francis’ Laudato Si encyclical, we call on you to show leadership nationally and internationally to secure fair and ambitious agreements on tackling climate change and poverty.

 

We urge you and other world leaders to cut carbon emissions to keep global temperature rise below the dangerous threshold of 1.5 degrees centigrade, and to prevent climate change pushing people deeper into poverty.

 

This truly Christian request is about promoting the common good, safeguarding the welfare of all humankind and, in particular, those living in or near poverty. As Jesus said, People will know you are my followers because of the way you love each other.

 

CAFOD’s partners in Africa, South America, the Indian sub-continent and South East Asia will tell you how heatwaves, droughts, extreme rainfall and flooding are seriously affecting their lives - including their crops, cattle, water supplies, health, and, as the petition says, pushing them deeper into poverty.

 

If we can do something to help to alleviate climate change, surely it is incumbent on us, as Christians, to do so.

Pope Francis calls for a new and universal solidarity in his encyclical letter, Laudato Si. He urges us to lobby our politicians, because the major measures that need to be taken are national and international. There’s a meeting of world leaders in December, in Paris, when the Prime Minister can take a leading role to bring about international agreements to minimise the causes of climate change and to mitigate its effects on people’s lives. Thousands of scientists from around the world, including our own Royal Society, have contributed to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, known as the IPCC for short.

 

They tell us unequivocally that climate change is happening and that the way we live our lives is a major cause. Our consumption and production are generating greenhouse gasses, particularly carbon dioxide, which are causing the abnormal warming the world is experiencing now.

 

Governments have to agree to significantly reduce over the next 15 years the energy we get from coal, oil, gas and wood, and to eliminate these sources by 2050 in order to help to keep temperature increases in this century to a level which will not be harmful to us all.

 

I have to be honest with myself and say that, as a classical scholar who spent his working life as a chartered accountant, my scientific knowledge is virtually nil. But even if is was greater, could I, as a reasonable man, say that thousands of leading scientists who have expertly considered evidence from all over the world and written a detailed report covering thousands of pages, are wrong.

 

I am certain that we should take on board what Pope Francis says in his encyclical, Laudato Si“

Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political …… It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day…..”

 

Please play your part to combat climate change and sign the petition today?"


 

Bernard meets Richard Drax

Drax meeting

Below is Bernard's account of his visit on 17 June 2015 to Lobby MPs on Climate Change issues:

On 17 June, as a volunteer with CAFOD (the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales), I and 9,000 others went to London to lobby our MPs about the threats of climate change and what our government could do to minimise them.

The lobby was organised by The Climate Coalition, and I met my MP, Richard Drax, along with seven other of his constituents, including five from Christian Aid.

We said that the poorest people in the world are already suffering severely from the effects of climate change, in the form of increased frequency of droughts, floods, rising sea levels and landslides caused by rainfall. They are bearing the greatest cost of climate change but they have done the least, if anything, to cause it. If action is not taken now, there is likely to be mass migration of people whose land has become inhabitable because of climate change.

We referred to the 5th report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Scientists are 95 per cent certain that greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are causing climate change. In order to prevent a catastrophic increase in global temperature of more than 2 per cent, global emissions from fossil fuels must peak by 2020 and then decline sharply. Our energy must be virtually free from fossil fuel sources by 2030 and completely clean by 2050. We asked Mr. Drax to urge the government to frame policy accordingly and to use its influence on the world stage to persuade other governments and to reach agreement to this effect at the world climate conference in Paris in December 2015.

Mr. Drax told us that his primary objective was “to keep the lights on.” He accepted that action must be taken to deal with climate change but believed that we can only do what is practical. He said that he supports nuclear power and, in response to his question, we expressed concerns about disposal of nuclear waste. He was also in favour of wind power provided turbines are located “in the right place”, unlike, in his view, the proposed Navitus Bay scheme.

Bernard White

29 June 2015


 

** View Connect 2 - News from Puentecitos **

** View Letter to El Salvador October 2014 **

Our Parish CAFOD Group was formed in the summer of 2012. Membership of the group is open to all parishioners attending any of St Joseph’s, St Edward’s and St Mary’s Chapel, Lulworth, and, indeed, you are welcome to join the group, or just come and see what is going on, at any time. We advertise the details of our meetings in the parish newsletter. CAFOD, The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, is the development agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own), and is accountable to the Bishops of England and Wales.

The CAFOD Group has these objectives:

To help our parishioners have a greater understanding about the people in the various parts of the world where CAFOD and its partners work to relieve poverty and provide aid and assistance when disasters occur. This will include peoples’ way of life, what they depend on and their concerns and hopes for the future.

To ask parishioners to provide financial support for the work of CAFOD and its partners. This will include parish collections at the Lent and Harvest Fast Days, as well as events and other projects.

To ask parishioners to participate in CAFOD’s campaigns which seek, inter alia:

 o   To remove the causes of poverty, such as abusive working terms and conditions, and man-made constraints on peoples’ ability to earn a living, such as EU and US subsidies which deprive people in the southern hemisphere of the ability to compete.

 o   To ask the wealthy countries in the world to provide finance to meet basic human needs, such as water and sanitation, where the worldwide problem requires much more money than individuals could donate, as well as political will to solve it.

 o   To ask governments to come forward with solutions to solve other issues which only they can deal with, such as the effects of climate change which are presently having a severe impact on people in developing countries.

 o   To seek support, both financial and skills transfers, to enable people in developing countries to start and manage their own small business so that they can work their way out of poverty.

 All of these objectives are deeply rooted in our Catholic faith – see the web site of the Church’s Social Teaching at www.catholicsocialteaching.org.uk

Parish CAFOD representative: Bernard White             This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To find  out more click here . 

To follow the CAFOD blog click here

Click here for News from Puentecitos

                    Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

                    El Salvador slideshow - Spring 2014

Newsletter August 2012

cafod connect2 logo

During our meetings we have discussed Cafod’s scheme: Connect2. It aims to create solidarity across the world by connecting parishes with a community in a developing country, enabling us to learn about the peoples’ lifestyles, hopes, dreams and challenges as they develop and progress, as well as providing some financial help. We can also offer encouragement and support and share something of ourselves and our community, and directly hear how Cafod’s partner charities are helping those individuals.

The communities we were able to chose from were in; Cambodia, Brazil, Bangladesh, El Salvador and Rwanda. Each of these communities have a different story, ranging from requiring support and counselling for genocide victims to educating people how to minimise the effects of natural disasters where these are unavoidable.

Our parish Cafod group has decided to join the Connect 2 programme enabling members of our parish to communicate with a community. As a Cafod group we chosen to connect with the community of Puentecitos in El Salvador to support. In Puentecitos a quarter of children under 5 suffer from malnutrition and three out of four houses are made of mud bricks with no real floor, and have no access to clean water and electricity.

Nevertheless, individuals in the community are striving to achieve great things. Over the next 3 years as a parish we can connect with this community, hear their stories and learn how Cafod with the help of its partner, the Jesuit Development Service, is helping this community.

At the masses on 8 and 9 September, we will tell you more about Puentecitos and Connect 2, and invite you to the launch of the Connect2 scheme into the parish in the school hall on 14 September after evening mass at St Joseph’s. We will provide more information about what it entails together with Fairtrade refreshments for us all to enjoy.

View "Hungry for Change" newsletter

 View latest El Salvador letter