Bishop Hopes celebrates a special Mass for CAFOD

Welcoming the crowd of volunteers in the Cathedral, Bishop Alan thanked them for all that they do with CAFOD, in parishes and schools across the diocese, gathering support for people in need across the world.

bishop-alan-hopes-celebrates-mass-smallerThe Mass is part of the diocesan celebrations of the 40th anniversary of our diocese. Bishop Alan spoke of how forty years ago Bishop Grant, who had a close connection with Cambridge and Ely, had petitioned the Pope to create the diocese of East Anglia, was also CAFOD’s first chairman.

Bishop Alan Hopes said: “CAFOD, had been created a few years earlier, after the Second Vatican Council from the response that the Catholic Community had shown to the needs of others as they witnessed their plight around the world. 

Helping people in poverty around the world, church partners, and the wider Caritas International family is a heartfelt expression of our faith, carrying out those acts of mercy that we have been remembering over the last year: feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, and welcoming the stranger.

When the diocese of East Anglia was created the Fast Days had become an established part of the Church’s calendar, in Lent and at Harvest, as they are today.

Thank you, all of you, for the good work that you do for CAFOD in your parishes.”


CAFOD has always been a dear part of the work of this diocese, part of our mission to carry forward the work of Christ Himself in the world, helping people toward fulfilment, free from poverty and injustice. And so we pray, we fast, and we give generously to help our global neighbours.

sister-yvonne-talks-to-volunteers_2-smallerIn the afternoon, CAFOD’s Partner, Sister Yvonne Mwila from Zambia, spoke about the work she is able to do thanks to the donations that people have given to CAFOD. She works with households in distress, caring for those who are orphaned, those with disabilities, and those who are living with HIV.

Sister Yvonne and the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, care for these people, and they ask them ‘what would you like to do?’ And so it was that Florence became a fisherwoman.

Florence lost her husband and son to HIV – although she didn’t know what it was – and she thought she would be next. Through the care and treatment of the Sisters, she was nursed back to health.

When Florence said she wanted to be a fisherwoman the Sisters wondered how she would do it. But they gave her 500 tiny fish, tools and training to build a pond and farm fish. Florence became someone important. And in turn Florence has taught other people how they too can farm fish.


Our day ended with Stations of the Cross, reflecting on the experiences of those who fall and thirst in Zambia, and so we accompany Jesus on his final journey toward the cross.

Lent Fast Day is on Friday 10 March.

You can donate to our Fast Day Appeal online >

Sister Yvonne shares our work in Zambia

Sister Yvonne Mwila, one of CAFOD’s partners in Zambia, joined us in the Cathedral in Norwich on Saturday 25 February, to share her work with us.

Sister Yvonne is Mother Superior of the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Mbala, Zambia and manages a project working with households in distress. Many of the people she helps are particularly vulnerable, living with HIV, with disabilities, and as widows and orphans. Through her, we are able to share our love with those in need.

Here are some of the pictures from her presentation to us:

Download Sister Yvonne’s complete presentation here >

View Sister Yvonne on our recorded presentation here >

Day of Recollection – Lent 2016

Volunteers gathered on Saturday 30 January for a Day of Recollection where they heard how CAFOD is helping give people from poorer communities of Uganda access to safe, clean drinking water.

From all four corners of the diocese, North Walsham to Saffron Walden, Peterborough to Ipswich, around forty parishioners gathered at Our Lady Immaculate and St Etheldreda to launch CAFOD’s Lenten Appeal: Turn on the Taps.

CAFOD Turn on the taps at NewmarketInspired by Pope Francis’ creation of a jubilee year of mercy, we reflected on the themes of living water, pilgrimage and forgiveness. Pope Francis has reminded us that Water is a basic human right (Laudato Si’ #30). This Lent, we focus on one of the seven corporal Acts of Mercy, reflected also in Jesus’ proclamation: when you give drink to those who thirst, you also give me a drink (Matthew 25). And the UK government has again chosen to work with CAFOD, to provide matched funding up to £3.5 million to support water projects in Uganda, DRC and Zimbabwe, so helping our partners give their communities access to fresh water.

ProscoviaMark Chamberlain shared moving stories of three of the people he met at one of CAFOD’s projects in Uganda: Proscovia, Guti and Michael. We will be hearing more about Proscovia at Mass on Sunday 14 and 21 February.

You can view Mark’s Presentation: Uganda case studies presentation

You can read our Guide to the Day of Recollection.

Stephen Matthews from Cambridge said: “These days are always very enjoyable. Meeting up with people from across the diocese and hearing how we are bringing new life to people in some of the poorest parts of the world: Hearing how we are helping people in rural villages learn how to fix and maintain their water pumps, so lifting the burden placed on women and girls, who would often walk over six miles to fetch water, several times a day. A dangerous journey in times of drought. It is delightful to see the girls joy, now they can return to their education – as we turn on the taps of generosity.”

CAFOD’s Fast Day is on Friday 19 February and as well as the parish collection on Sunday 21 February, many parishes will be collecting donations throughout Lent. The UK government will match – £1 for £1 – donations to CAFOD from 10 February to 9 May.