In Oxford yesterday, the month began with a CAFOD Youth Mass organised by Trisha Dufficy from BCYS and Helen Hurrell from the Portsmouth diocese, in partnership with Amy Fox CAFOD Diocesan Officer (Youth). The day was a chance for the young people of Oxfordshire to come and have fun, discuss important global issues and worship together.
The day began with ice breakers with the young people getting to know each other with Jambo before going onto consider how many people, in how many different countries, they had relied on before they had even finished breakfast that morning, through Global Connections. Everyone then got into teams for a Reality Relay, for which they had to make their own football from carrier bags and string before starting.
The young people then got a taste of a microcosm of reality when they took on the characters of young people in countries where CAFOD works and tried to bid for things they needed in the World Values Auction. The soundtrack to the game quickly became constant shouts of ‘That’s not fair!’ as Jonathan from the UK consistently outbid everyone else, even for things that he didn’t need.
After that light hearted dose of global reality the attendees then turned their thoughts towards possible responses to injustice. To aid this, raps written by young people in Colombia and Kenya were listened to, as they tackled issues such as conflict and inequality which the lyricists face on a daily basis. Inspired by these, the young people then used their experiences from the World Values Auction, together with a selection of newspaper cuttings and extracts from the day’s readings, to think about the issues that mattered to them and to create their own raps, to be performed as bidding prayers during Mass. Here are some examples for the next time you’re laying down some worship with Kanye or Jayz:
Poverty is bad blud,
very, very sad blud.
Rich people are greedy,
we’re very needy.
They don’t share:
it ain’t fair.
Lord hear our prayer.
Lord hear our prayer.
There is a hedgehog that is stuck inside a can.
It could be female or maybe a man.
It would have not happened if they put it in the bin.
Harming animals is a sin.
We should look after God’s environment.
We’ve been given this world. Take care – that’s a requirement.
God loves us all – he’ll never go into retirement.
Mass was then celebrated by Fr. Paul King, with an inspiring homily about the need for us all to do our one particular thing, however small, to make a difference as well as some brilliant singing by Lexie and Tori. The day was finished off perfectly with delicious soup and rolls prepared by Janet Farnsworth.
A big thank you to all the young people, Trisha, Helen and Janet for their hard work, to Fr. Paul for celebrating Mass and generally getting stuck in, and Fr. Naz, Kathleen and Joice for help, support and participation.
If you would like Amy or one of our volunteers to visit your parish to run a session, or if you are a youth leader in the Birmingham Diocese and you would like to inspire your young people to put their faith into action by engaging in global justice, we can provide advice, resources, training or even tailor-made sessions. Please get in touch with Amy on 01922 722944 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.