Pope Francis announces the World Day of Prayer and Fasting for Family Fast Day

At his weekly audience, Pope Francis invited parishioners join the World Day of Prayer and Fasting on Friday 23 February, which is our Lent Fast Day

Pope Francis motivated us to keep in our prayers the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan during the Lent Fast Day.  The Catholic Church, CAFOD and many other partners are providing a safety net for the victims of violence, giving psychological support, medical services and access to justice for rape victims.

More than 1 million people are estimated to have been displaced by violence in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo

More than 1 million people are estimated to have been displaced by violence in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo

As a partner of Caritas,  we’ve mainly been working with national Church structures at parish, diocesan and national levels in many African countries. The DRC is devastated by a civil war that killed almost four million people. Many as half a million women and girls have been victims of extreme sexual violence carried out by armed groups.

South Sudan - sever drought and conflict have left millions of people in need of humanitarian aid

South Sudan – sever drought and conflict have left millions of people in need of humanitarian aid

In the meantime, South Sudan is facing a major humanitarian crisis, caused by severe drought and an on-going conflict. We provide food and water to people who have been forced out of their homes by fighting, promote peace and justice, and provide education.

On Family Fast Day we will be fasting and praying not just with Catholics in England and Wales but Catholics across the entire world, and as Pope Francis suggested we are calling to everyone to pray and support our campaign in the DRC and South Sudan.

Money raised towards our Lent appeal between Shrove Tuesday 13 February and Saturday 12 May will be doubled by the UK Government, up to £5 million.Funds raised for our Lent appeal go towards CAFOD’s general funds which resources our work in these countries. This year, money raised towards our Lent appeal between Shrove Tuesday 13 February and Saturday 12 May will be doubled by the UK Government, up to £5 million.

Please remember to pray on Family Fast Day, the 23rd of February.

Latest News from CAFOD A&B

Marian stands with other members of Chinyama community veg garden with her two-month-old baby girl Talent. Zimbabwe

Marian stands with other members of Chinyama community veg garden with her two-month-old baby girl Talent. Zimbabwe

Every month we send a email bulletin around to our parish volunteers. It has all the news from CAFOD in our diocese and also notice of future events. This month you can read about Family Fast Day, Share the Journey, interesting webinars and lots of events during Lent.

Click the following link to download:

Arundel_and_Brighton_offline_template February 2018

Delightful Speakers Enjoy Crawley Parish Hospitality

On Saturday the 3rd of February a crowd gathered to hear from Maria Gonzalez (CAFOD’s Head of International Development) and Giovanna Reda (Head of Humanitarian for Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean).

Maria Gonzalez speaks passionately and eloquently about our work

Maria speaks passionately and eloquently about our work

The Crawley parish welcomed all the visitors with warm croissants and hot drinks and provided a chance for people to gather, chat and hear updates from CAFOD.

Maria spoke first giving a delightful overview of CAFOD: our mission, our values

What does CAFOD Do?

(Partnership, Dignity, Solidarity, Compassion, Stewardship, Hope, Sustainability) and the work that we do.

Giovanna continued  by telling us of her recent experience with the refugee crisis in Lebanon and Jordan and updated us with regard to the situation in Syria.

The Bekaa Valley Refugee Camp

The Bekaa Valley Refugee Camp

It was a moving talk, reminding us that though things can drop off the news, they continue to be a daily reality for many in countries throughout the world.

Finally, Martin presented information about Family Fast Day: The story behind it, the situation in Zimbabwe, the wonderful work that is transforming lives, the resources available for parishes to get behind the appeal and the good news that money raised towards our Lent appeal between Shrove Tuesday 13 February and Saturday 12 May will be doubled by the UK Government, up to £5 million.

Our thanks go to Maria, Giovanna and Min and the team at The Friary in Crawley for their generous and warm hospitality. More information about future events can be found on our Upcoming Events page.