Corpus Christi Oxford and Our Lady Wheatley “Share the Journey”

Sporting “Share the Journey” badges and carrying the Lampedusa Cross, 91 parishioners from Corpus Christi Oxford and Our Lady of Lourdes Wheatley spent a sunny Sunday afternoon contributing 249 miles, one hundredth of the distance around the globe (24,900miles), to the CAFOD Share the Journey totaliser, now on its fourth journey around the world.

The Parish Pilgrimage was part of the Parish’s commitment to respond to Pope Francis’s invitation in Laudato Si‘ to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us” by reflecting on our lives in order to live simply, sustainably with creation, and in solidarity with people in poverty.  The Parish is working towards CAFOD’s Live Simply Award.

StJ - Corpus Christi Ox and OL of Lourdes Wheatley

Corpus Christi Ox and Our Lady of Lourdes Wheatley – Share the Journey

On Sunday, the focus was on expressing solidarity with migrants and refugees.  Parish Priest, Fr Mervyn Tower, celebrated all Masses at the weekend with the Lampedusa Cross on the altar, with which he blessed the congregations at the end of Mass – and his sermon reflected the scriptural imperative of supporting people on the move.  In the afternoon, parishioners gathered in nearby Bury Knowle Park where they collected their Share the Journey badges and signed the petition to the Prime Minister urging her to work with other world leaders to deliver on the global compacts on migration and refugees, respecting human dignity, protecting the vulnerable, and enabling families to keep together by supporting host countries and tackling the reasons why people migrate. The journey began with the a prayer from the CAFOD Share the journey cards.

>> Download the Share the Journey cards here.

Walking through the Park

Walking through the Park on the Share the Journey walk

Some people walked one circuit of the park whilst others walked up to six  – each one according to what their own health and fitness allowed them: a reminder of the burden faced by migrants, who often have to assist the vulnerable members of their families and communities to walk well beyond their natural strength and capabilities.

Prayer station to reflect on migrants stories

Prayer station to reflect on migrants stories

It was not a race – and parishioners quickly spread out around the perimeter path, passing the Lampedusa Cross from one group to another.  Half way round the park, there was a quiet prayer station for people to reflect on some of the migrants’ stories, five of which were mounted on the Park fence for all to see.  In fact, many visitors to the park stopped by to read the stories, including a father who movingly pointed out to his young son how fortunate they were not to be forced to flee their comfortable home in Oxford. A powerful  witness to the wider community, indeed!

At the end of the afternoon, parishioners gathered in a shady area to read aloud the five migrant stories and  pray together before Fr Mervyn blessed the pilgrims with the Lampedusa Cross.  It was an afternoon that helped parishioners within the church community bond together around a simple act of  solidarity with those facing hardship.

Fr Mervyn blesses pilgrims with the Lampedusa Cross

Thank you Corpus Christi Oxford and Our Lady of Lourdes Wheatley for walking in solidarity and sending a powerful message to world leaders they too need to step up and protect the rights of people on the move.

It is still not too late to organise a walk in your parish.  See our guide or get in touch

Remembering Loved Ones

Our third annual Memorial Mass was held on Friday 24 November at St Anthony’s Parish in Wolverhampton.

Mem Mass1Thank you to everyone who joined us at our diocesan Memorial Mass on Friday evening, held to remember and give thanks for all those who have supported CAFOD’s work – through volunteering, prayer, campaigning or donations – and who have made our work possible.

We are very grateful to volunteer Trevor Stockton, who organised the Mass and led the parish music group. Thank you also to Mgr Mark Crisp and Fr David Lloyd for celebrating our Mass and to St Anthony’s for hosting us.

Mem Mass2

Our Book of Remembrance was on display and included the names of all those we remembered and prayed for. Their memory will live on in the lives of all those who have been touched by their kindness and generosity.

Join us in prayer and sign up to receive our weekly reflections


Thank you Trevor

At our recent Harvest Fast Day Mass, held at St Joseph’s Parish in Wolverhampton, we took the opportunity to thank and recognise the contribution of one of our longest serving volunteers, Trevor Stockton.

Trevor Papal blessing

Trevor being presented with his Papal blessing by Bishop David McGough

Trevor has been a CAFOD volunteer for very many years – according to our records since 1992 but Trevor will tell you that he was involved for many years before that, even before we had a CAFOD office in the Birmingham Archdiocese.

He’s had and still does a variety of roles, including:

  • Parish volunteer, in his parish of St Anthony of Padua.
  • School volunteer, visiting local schools to talk to young people about our work.
  • Deanery Coordinator, supporting other CAFOD volunteers locally.
  • He’s a passionate Campaign volunteer and has been involved in many lobbies and marches over the years, including Make Poverty History and the Jubilee Debt campaign, amongst many others.
  • Trevor also writes prayers, reflections, liturgy and songs for us, which I know he really enjoys and he has a great gift for. Until recently he organised our annual Fast Day Masses and he is currently busy organising our Mass of Remembrance being held on November 24th at St Anthony’s Parish in Wolverhampton.

Find details here about our Masses of Remembrance

There are so many ways in which Trevor has and still does support us that are too many to list. To mark the amazing and considerable contribution he has made to our work for more than 25 years Bishop David McGough presented Trevor with a special Papal blessing.

Thank you to Trevor and all our wonderful volunteers for the wonderful contribution they make and for standing in solidarity alongside our sisters and brothers in need around the world.

Find out how you can get involved in volunteering for CAFOD