Celebrating Oscar Romero

Phil MSchool Volunteer Phil Mayland reflects on his visit to St John Fisher Catholic College, Newcastle under Lyme to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero.

St John Fisher Catholic College, Newcastle under Lyme, held a Mission Day on Thursday 20th July, to study and reflect on the life of Blessed Oscar Romero. Each Year Group focused on a particular aspect of Romero and El Salvador, and spent time preparing for an outdoor Mass on Friday 21st July.

The school invited visitors from CAFOD and Missio to lead students in their preparation with each year group preparing specific parts of the Mass. Jo Boyce of CJM Music rehearsed the music with the school’s musicians and practiced the singing with all the students on Thursday. I was asked to work with Year 9 students, who prepared bidding prayers inspired by the life of Blessed Oscar Romero.

RomeroOther year groups worked with the  Art, Technology and English departments in designing Romero Crosses, creating large Murals depicting Romero and El Salvador and writing prayers and poetry.

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Mass was celebrated the following day. Fr Paul McNally, the school chaplain, concelebrated Mass with Fr Rob Taylerson and Fr Anton Madej. This was a very special occasion attended by the whole school and invited guests and was a fitting and memorable way to end the academic year.

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Join us at our Retreat on 18 November in Solihull to explore how Romero’s life and faith can inspire and transform our world. 

Parishioners sign up to promote CAFOD at St Joseph – Thame

It was wonderful to have over 15 people come forward to volunteer in at St Joseph’s in Thame.  Debbie Purfield, coordinator for Oxford North, approached parish priest Fr David Hartley to see if the parish was willing to promote CAFOD more.  Fr David warmly invited Debbie to give a talk at all masses weekend of the 22 / 23 July.  The response was amazing considering a lot of people had already gone off for their summer break!  It was so wonderful to have people across the spectrum come forward ranging from 15  to 75 years!  Some wives were seen cajoling their husbands to sign up too.

Margaret and Jim Crisp sign Power to Be campaign cards

Margaret and Jim Crisp very kindly offered to be the parish contact and disseminate information and organise the Fast Days.  Thanks so much.  They started their role there and then by signing our Power to Be petition cards there and then!

>> Sign our petition to the World Bank

Fr David who was very pleasantly surprised said, “It is wonderful to see so many people come forward. I am delighted.  We can now do much more.”  Fr David also signed our Power to Be campaign card and will be encouraging the parish to be involved in campaigning too.

Fr David Hartley supporting CAFOD campaigns

Thank you to all who signed up to promote CAFOD at St Joseph’s.  Thank you for giving your time, talent and skills to help our brothers and sisters in need.  You are an inspiration!

> Find out more about volunteering in your parish


A Day in the Life of a CAFOD School Volunteer

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School Volunteer David Worrall  

David Worrall from Stoke is one of our team of School Volunteers.  He recently visited St Giles School in Cheadle to take part in their Vocations Day:

 ‘The day started with Mass and then I took workshops throughout the day with Reception, Years 1,2,3 and 5. I presented the ‘Rough Guide to CAFOD’ as a workshop and adapted it to make it relevant to vocations. As an example of vocations I added the Lent Fast Day story of Florence and her success as a Fish Farmer fulfilling her own vocation. Building on this, I finished the day with the Power to be Primary School Assembly showing how the town and district were fulfilling their own vocations with the help of CAFOD’s renewable energy through solar panels. It was a very successful and rewarding day, if tiring!’

‘Afterwards I was handed a lovely thank you card with some very moving prayers from the children which I think prove that CAFOD’s work in schools is essential and makes such a difference.’

A big thank you to all the pupils at St Giles for their support and prayers, some of which are below: 

Prayer 1Prayer 2

Prayer 3

Prayer 4Prayer 5

Find out more on our website about being a CAFOD School Volunteer or contact Julia on 01922 722944, jhood@cafod.org.uk