A Year of Encounter.

With a UK general election due sometime this year, politicians will be looking for our votes.

We have a responsibility as Catholics to make sure that parties commit to tackling issues such as poverty and injustice.

Raising our voices and contacting parliamentary candidates as a parish community

will send a strong signal to those standing for election in our local constituencies.

A Year of Encounter is a joint initiative between CAFOD and St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP),

equipping Catholics to ask key questions of local candidates at key moments.

Please seecafod.org.uk/encounterfor more information, including online sessions

on Thursday 25th April and Saturday 4th May to learn more.

Israel - Palestine Humanitarian Appeal.

Dear Father,

We have all been shocked and saddened by the devastating conflict between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. CAFOD’s local partners in Gaza and southern Israel are now actively responding and providing urgent humanitarian aid to those in need.

  • We have sent £100,000 to our local partner, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) who are already supporting 10,000 families with cash vouchers. Families are using these to purchase essentials like food and water as well as mattresses and bedding from wholesale suppliers in Gaza.
  • We have committed £50,000 to our local partner, Culture and Free Thought Association, who are sheltering 300 people in their centres in Gaza and are supporting them with cash assistance, food, water and offering counselling to those dealing with losing their loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods.
  • We have released £10,000 to our local partner Sadaka Reut, working in southern Israel with local emergency support groups providing psychological support, basic humanitarian assistance and building emotional resilience.

Sadly, staff and volunteers in our partner organisations have already lost their lives and tragically news has reached us this morning that more local staff in Gaza have been killed. They tell us that your support and your prayers of solidarity for those putting their lives at risk to help during this crisis are needed now more than ever.

We would be grateful for your help in letting your parishioners know how they can support our appeal. We enclose below a short notice for your parish newsletter or Facebook page and have an appeal poster here that you can print and place on your noticeboard.

If your CAFOD volunteer has already spoken to you about our appeal and you have already informed parishioners, we really appreciate your support.

If you would like to arrange a collection in your parish, you can order emergency envelopes from the CAFOD Shop online.

Thank you as always for your prayers and support for our work and that of our partners worldwide. Please do continue topray for peace.

Best wishes,

Celeste Iyinbo and Sarah Cadwallader

Community Participation Coordinators (Southwark) part time

Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7JB

Cafod Southwark Office.

Dear Father

‘The world sings of an infinite love, how can we fail to care for it?’(Laudate Deum #65)

Pope Francis has today, on the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, published Laudate Deum: to all people of goodwill on the climate crisis,

his new Exhortation on the environment, a follow-up to his encyclical, Laudato Si’.

The Pope says that “climate change is one of the principal challenges facing society and the global community”(Laudate Deum#3) and warns that the“world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point” (#5).

I would like to thank you for holding collections for our FamilyFamily Fast Day appeal in your parish this week. Our appeal highlights the terrible impact of the climate crisis, telling the story of Meera, whose home in Pakistan was swept away by extreme flooding last year. Flooding was an example of the extreme weather phenomena that Pope Francis calls “palpable expressions of a silent disease that affects everyone” (#5).

Pope Francis says: “Authentic faith not only gives strength to the human heart but also transforms life, transfigures our goals and sheds light on our relationship to others and with creation as a whole” (#61). Responding to our Family Fast Day Appeal is an important way we can all take up Pope Francis’ invitation to“accompany this pilgrimage of reconciliation with the world that is our home and to help make it more beautiful” (#69).

We work at the frontline of climate and conflict emergencies in over 40 countries. Thanks to the support of parishes like yours, we are working with our sisters and brothers to build resilience in the face of the huge challenges posed by the climate crisis, to respond quickly to help communities devastated by climate-induced disasters, and to continue to call on those in power to take urgent action.

We pray that, inspired by the example of St Francis of Assisi and encouraged by Laudate Deum, we will always strive to care for and protect our common home.

Best wishes,

Marcela Saavedra Keech

Marcela Saavedra Keech|Community Participation Support Officer

CAFOD in South East, South West and Wales

mkeech@cafod.org.uk| 07557268064

Working Monday – Friday

Cafod Seek Volunteers


Parish Speakers

Use your voice to speak out for our global family?

At CAFOD we really need your help to reach out to more parishes across the diocese. We are looking for volunteer speakers, so if you can spare one or two weekends a year to visit parishes in your area (or further a field) to speak at Mass about CAFOD’s work and share stories of the communities we work with around the world please get in touch. Full training and support provided. Find out more about the volunteer speaker role and our other volunteering roles[mailto:on%20our%20website]on our websiteor by contactingCeleste and Sarah atsouthwark@cafod.org.uk. We would love to hear from you!

Many thanks

Sarah & Celeste

Celeste Iyinbo & Sarah Cadwallader

Community Participation Coordinators|CAFOD in Southwark


Story from Cafod Newsletter.

Shukla is a mum in Bangladesh who has been very worried about her children’s nutrition. After joining a community project in Bangladesh, which is supported by CAFOD, Shukla has a productive garden and can grow food for her son. Shukla says, “Worry has completely disappeared now.” People support us in so many ways – giving in church, giving to us by direct debit, or leaving us a gift in their will. This generosity and compassion reaches hard-working mothers like Shukla. Thank you. To read Shukla's story, go to