Concert for Connect2

Chelsie Sinton invites you to a concert that could change someone’s life.Connect2 gig photo

Connect2 is our scheme that links parishes in England and Wales to communities overseas. It’s a great way to show solidarity for our sisters and brothers in the south by taking a journey with ordinary people leading extraordinary lives. Through the support of your parish, people’s lives can be transformed.

On Saturday 10th June, we’re organising a concert for our supporters to enjoy a great night out but also as a way of letting people know about the amazing results that Connect2 can achieve. Local band 2econd Wind will be playing a mix of music from the 60s to the 80s so you’re sure to have a good time. There’s a licensed bar and, in true CAFOD spirit, people are being asked to bring food to share. The event is being held at St. Joseph’s parish centre in Birtley from 7 to 11 p.m. If you’d like tickets or for more details, please get in touch at


School Students Take the Lead


Students discuss which projects to fund and which not to!

Jeremy Cain reports on how CAFOD’s Young Leaders programme is getting our message out into schools.

Spending the day with eighty young people can be exhausting but also inspiring- their enthusiasm and energy are infectious; and when they put that to good use, the results can be impressive.

For example, the young women from St. Anthony’s Academy in Sunderland spoke in every year group assembly to raise awareness and ask for donations. Similarly, St. Leonard’s in Durham organised a CAFOD disco for Year 7 and 8 students, whilst the young people of St. Robert’s in Washington have continued to run a blog about climate change. These are just some examples of young people using creative thinking and hard work to take our message about poverty and injustice to school students across our diocese.


Young Leaders present back their project proposals.

The Young Leaders’ programme has been running since September and a couple of weeks ago we met for the second time to give them training on project management, negotiation and effective communication as well as update them on our resources for Lent.

“You’re the Project Manager” is a simulation game that gives young people a limited budget and numerous projects to fund. The students had to consider which ones they should support and which ones to turn down. They were all real CAFOD projects, so the exercise gave them an insight into the range of our projects as well as our continuing need for funding!


They are CAFOD!

Working in groups made up of students from different schools, they also had to learn how to reach a consensus with people who have differing viewpoints. It’s great preparation for the “real world”and it was fascinating to watch the different approaches each group employed. They were then challenged to present back to everyone, a task which some found quite daunting but tackled nonetheless. In every case, the results were impressive.


Young people’s prayers for our world.

At the end of the day, we then sent them back with a mission: tell everyone else in your school about what CAFOD does and if you raise some money along the way, then all the better! We have high hopes for their success.

Many thanks to Cardinal Hume school for hosting the event. We’re looking forward to meeting them all again in July. If you’re a teacher in a secondary school and would like to get involved, please get in touch.

Hexham and Newcastle campaigners attend retreat to reflect on the Year of Mercy

Katie Binns, our communications intern, reports on a day well-spent in Leeds.

CAFOD Campaigners attended a special day of reflection where explored how they can continue to live out Pope Francis’ call to be “witnesses of mercy.”

On 19th November, enthusiastic campaigners from our diocese attended a special CAFOD retreat day where they reflected on their understanding of the Year of Mercy.


Pope Francis’ latest encyclical is bigger than just climate change!

During the day, the volunteers attended workshops, where they learned about the meaning of mercy, studied extracts from Laudato Si’ and explored the story of the Prodigal Son.

Dave Cross, Community Participation Coordinator, said, “It was really good to unpack the main messages behind Laudato Si’ that took us beyond just seeing the encyclical as something about climate change; but it was something much more than that.”

They then had a shared a lunch, which was made from contributions from the group, each bringing their own dish. After lunch, they group had time for personal reflection where they then re-joined to share their thoughts.

The Year of Mercy officially ended on the 20 November, on the Feast of Christ the King and celebrations were held across the country.

Throughout the month of November, CAFOD held 17 retreat days across the country where attendees discussed the works of mercy and the meaning linked to action in our families, communities and in our world.

Campaigns Manager, Sarah Croft, said: “The retreat was an opportunity to be refreshed and sustained; it allowed volunteers to take time out from everyday life to reflect on their own faith journey, in the company of other CAFOD supporters and in peaceful surroundings.

During the day, we explored the Scriptures and Church teaching together. We also took time to learn from each other’s experiences and to be inspired and enriched by stories from CAFOD’s campaigning and work overseas.”

Go to the CAFOD website for a range of resources to help you to pray and reflect on Laudato Si’ and the spirituality of creation. You can also find some suggestions for ways in which you can join with our campaign for climate justice.