Please help us stop the eviction of 200 families in Brazil

Volunteers, Supporters, priest and Bishop from the Oxford North and South deaneries stand in solidarity with more than 200 families facing eviction from their home in São Paulo, Brazil.  Ficamaua – Let them stay!

Volunteers and Supporters from Oxford N & S Deaneries show support for the Mauà Community

These families, many with children and vulnerable members, have lived for 10 years in the Mauà building, an abandoned hotel in the middle of Sao Paolo, which they have turned into homes.  Now, a government decision puts them in danger of being made homeless. You can learn more about the Mauà Community eviction here.

Bishop William & Debbie Purfield in solidarity with the Maua community

Sandra & Fr Naz : Let them stay

The situation is urgent. Following a recent court notice, families will be forced out of their homes by police at 6am, 22 October, unless the court decision is reversed.  CAFOD’s partner APOIO tells us that the only hope is to put pressure on political authorities to step in and stop the eviction.

Will you stand in solidarity with  these families and add your voice to ask the Brazilian authorities to suspend the eviction and to negotiate a just and permanent solution? Take a minute to read and sign the petition

Debbie Purfield – CAFOD coordinator said, “We want to show the Mauà community that we are supporting and praying for them… that we stand alongside them at this very distressing time.  They are not alone! Ficamaua !”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>  Please sign  the petition asking the Brazilian authorities to suspend the eviction and to negotiate a just, permanent solution

 

Bishop William supports the Power to Be Campaign

CAFOD Coordinators Lizzie Wignall and Debbie Purfield had their annual meeting with Bishop William Kenney who was very supportive and delighted to hear how parish involvement across the south of the diocese where Lizzie and Debbie are focusing on has risen over the past year.

Lizzie, Bishop William and Debbie support renewable energy for the poorest

Lizzie showed Bishop William some crosses with really moving words made by primary school children when they heard about the refugee crisis and Debbie mentioned how 17 people came forward recently at St Joseph’s (Thame) to be parish volunteers for CAFOD.

Bishop William and Lizzie support the Power to Be campaign

 

Bishop WIlliam was moved by the crosses which he read and was delighted to hear how a lot more parishes were supporting CAFOD not only through donations but also by campaigning and prayer.

 

 

To show his solidarity and support the Power to Be campaign, Bishop William signed the petition card calling on the World Bank to ensure renewable energy access for the world’s poorest people.  He said,  ‘What is important is that people are at the centre not economic systems.’

Bishop William Kenney signs the Power to Be petition

Thank you Bishop William for your continued support!

 

Bishop William will be sharing his experience of Sudan and South Sudan on the following dates:

Date : 30 September 2017

Venue : Our Lady Help of Christians, 59 Hollow Way, Cowley, Oxford OX4 2ND.

Time : 10am for 10:30am – 1:30pm followed by a shared lunch till 2:30pm.

All welcome! Bring a friend along too.  Please book : dpurfield@cafod.org.uk or 01844 264723

Date : 28 September 2017

Venue : Sacred Heart, 17 Lime Tree Avenue, Bilton, Rugby, CV22 7QT

Time : 7pm (teas and coffees) for 7:30pm-9pm. 

All welcome! Bring a friend along too. Please book : ewignall@cafod.org.uk or 01922 722944

The Wood of the Cross

Lamp Cross photo2

The Lampedusa Cross

Signs and symbols are important. They carry memory of times and places of significance. They tell a story.

During a massive air raid on the city of Coventry in November 1940, the medieval cathedral was destroyed, the wooden rafters of the root collapsing in the fire that ensued. Only the outer shell of stone walls remained.

In the days that followed, hundreds of nails that secured the roofing beams were collected from the floor, later to be formed in to Crosses of Remembrance and distributed world wide. Out of an act of war came an act of forgiveness and memory.

In our own time something similar has occurred. During the last three years we have heard countless stories of loss, of refugees lost in the Mediterranean as their over-loaded ships broke up and sank.

An island off the south coast of Italy became a place of landfall for those who somehow survived, drifting ashore on timber from the wrecked boats. Lampedusa became known for the care it gave to so many. It was visited by Francis very soon after his election to the See of Rome when he celebrated the Eucharist in a field near the Island’s port. It was his first visit outside of Rome as Bishop. He spoke with the people during his sermon saying “We have become used to other people’s suffering, it doesn’t concern us, it doesn’t interest us, it’s none of our business!” Yet, of course it is. His altar on that occasion was constructed from an old fishing boat painted in Italy’s red, green and white national colors.

Their journey had arisen from persecution and poverty in their homelands. They were willing to risk all for a better, safer future for their families. Caring for them within the EU became a huge task, for while some countries offered help and hospitality, others were reluctant to accept an influx of immigrants.  The immensity of the task was overwhelming giving rise to considerable anxiety and confusion.

One man decided to help in a small yet significant way. He was a resident of Lampedusa, a carpenter by the name of Francesco Tuccio.  As the drift wood from the wrecked boats came ashore with the tide, he began collecting the torn and splintered material, peeling paint work revealing the original natural wood. From this salvage he began fashioning simple crosses, leaving the original scarred finish from the time at sea.

Pope Francis carried one of the Tuccio crosses at the memorial Mass to commemorate people who had died. Those who survived the Crossing were also given one as a sign of hope.

In consequence of the work of Francesco Tuccio, CAFOD distributed one of the Crosses to every Cathedral in England and Wales. It was when visiting the parish of St Gregory in Stratford-on-Avon recently that I saw one of these crosses stood on the sanctuary during mass, a silent icon of memory and hope.

The British Museum in London has also received a Lampedusa Cross made from pieces of a boat that was wrecked off the coast of Lampedusa, on 11 October, 2013. The British Museum web site records that ‘…the cross piece retains scuffed blue paint on the front, upper and lower surfaces. The front of the vertical section has layers of damaged paint. The base coat is dark green which was covered with a beige colour then painted orange. The sides and back are planed down to the timber surface. There is a small hole for suspension on the back of the vertical near the top. A fragment of an iron nail survives at the top in the right side of the cross piece. The back of the cross piece is signed F. Tuccio, Lampedusa’

It measures some 38 cm in height and 28 cm in width. .

The text further notes that ‘Mr Tuccio kindly made this piece for the British Museum to mark an extraordinary moment in European history and the fate of Eritrean Christians. It also stands witness to the kindness of the people of the small island of Lampedusa who have done what they can for the refugees and migrants who arrive on their shores’

Like the cathedral in Coventry, the island of Lampedusa has marked tragedy with a gift made from wreckage, the left-over materials from conflict. Those small gifts from both locations have been offered round the world as tokens of memory to help with peace and reconciliation between peoples.

The twisted nails from the burnt roofing timbers of the cathedral, the wasted wooden remains of broken boats, each in their own way form a gift of hope. They are small tokens which carry immense meaning that we shouldn’t ignore and must not forget.

Find out how you can stand in solidarity with refugees worldwide.

By Chris McDonnell (this article appeared in the Catholic Times, Friday July 21st 2017)