St Wilfrid's hosts CAFOD volunteers Thanksgiving Mass

Sixteen CAFOD Lancaster's volunteers came together last week to celebrate and cherish their support for the charity in a Thanksgiving Mass at St Wilfrid’s in Preston.

The day was full with emotions, especially with gratitude for all the volunteers who generously give their time and talents to support CAFOD.

Parish volunteers, School volunteers, Campaign volunteers, Area Coordinators, Office volunteers and Step into the Gap volunteers: they all came together as a community, sharing their different roles and experiences.

The liturgy was a wonderful experience. Fr Paul Fletcher SJ, who celebrated the Mass, led a few words of introduction about CAFOD and its volunteers and incorporated a few bidding prayers relevant to the aid agency's work. These reflections remembered CAFOD’s work with our sisters and brothers in the poorest communities overseas and celebrated the volunteers not only in Lancaster Diocese, but all over the world, nationally and overseas.

At the offertory, the participants brought up, in addition to the bread and wine, some symbols important to CAFOD – a Romero Cross, a Lampedusa Cross - mindful of all people forced to flee their homes -, and a Globe - a symbol of the global reach and work with the poorest communities overseas.

Aleks, CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer, who earlier this year visited the projects in El Salvador and Nicaragua, joined the celebration. Over lunchtime, she had the opportunity to share her experience as a CAFOD ‘gapper’ this year, and of her time overseas with the charity. It was wonderful to hear from Aleks about the life-transforming work of CAFOD’s projects overseas. Everyone wished Aleks all the best for the future as this fantastic gap year with CAFOD, which comes to an end later this month.

The day would have not been complete without sharing a delicious lunch together! The event has been a blessing and a truly special celebration of the amazing commitment of the volunteers: their work within CAFOD is simple priceless.

‘So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.’ Galatians 6:9

This article was first published on CAFOD Lancaster's blog.