Deborah Purfield (appointed to be the CAFOD contact for Oxford North and South) was invited to the Oxford North deanery meeting on 14 June to meet the priests in the deanery. Deborah is the coordinator for the Northampton Diocese already but has been given the privilege of “looking after” the Oxford deaneries too.
“It was great to meet some of the priests and deacons. They really made me welcome. I hope to meet the rest soon.” Remarked Deborah.
Deborah was keen to ensure that parishes did not see CAFOD solely as a charity asking for funds but as a partnership charity of the catholic church in England and Wales. “We are here to journey with people, to help deepen their faith, unlocking the social mandates of the church as prescribes in Catholic Social Teaching (CST).”
Not all were aware that CAFOD is involved in campaigning and has excellent resources. Some which might benefit parishes are :
To support parishes in the Year of mercy, Deborah mentioned about the Year of Mercy Pilgrimage and the Lampedusa cross action cards which parishes could use to show their solidarity with refugees. Fr John Hancock (Bl. Dominic Barberi) has already got his action cards ready for distribution.
CAFOD is also offering Laudato Si training on 2 July in London. For those who can’t make this date, there are alternative dates and venues . A wonderful way of engaging people in their faith.
Out of the 15 parishes in the Oxford North deanery, 8 have at least one volunteer and 4 have a group of volunteers which is great! The hope is that all parishes would have at least one if not a group of volunteers to promote CAFOD’s work in the parish. All those present were supportive.
Canon Mervyn Tower (Corpus Christi) said, “we are always keen to do what we can to support CAFOD’s work and people like to see a project through and so we support the Connect 2 scheme. We had a wonderful Ethiopian evening where we had Ethiopian food, learnt about CAFOD’s work and raised funds”. Wonderful!
Fr Prem Ferando (St Thomas More and St Hugh) added, “we are happy to support CAFOD’s work where needed, like the latest Ethiopian Disaster. We are also hoping to get the parish more involved with other aspects like writing messages of hope to the refugees”. Fantastic!
“Thank you once again for all you do to support CAFOD’s work and I am really looking forward to working and supporting the parishes” concluded Deborah.