“Help us to be Your Hands”


Candle memorial

Based on the gospel for Sunday 16 September 2018 – Mark 8:27-35

This reflection and prayer were written by Sue Allerton, from Our Lady of Grace parish, Prestwich near Manchester. It is taken from CAFOD’s Weekly Reflections, to which you can subscribe. Sue has been contributing to the national weekly reflections for the last few weeks and prepares the CAFOD in Salford monthly prayers.

This week’s text is the turning point of Mark’s Gospel.

So far, we have read stories of the amazing goodness and power of Jesus, but He has not fully been recognised yet.

Now Peter speaks out – “You are the Christ” – another step forward in the disciples’ understanding.

But Jesus prefers, for the moment, the title “Son of Man” not a dominating political leader, but a “suffering servant” whose destiny it is to suffer and die.

Mark attaches a series of sayings on discipleship and loyalty to the confrontation between Jesus and Peter. Jesus is saying that – if we would share in His mission – then suffering and death are inevitable. But we also have the hope of resurrection. This gospel from Mark invites us to see ourselves as servants in our response to the cry of the poor and acts as a call to put our faith into action.

Creator God, You made us in Your image and likeness. Help us to be Your hands in our world today, continuing Your creation and channelling Your love to everyone. We ask for strength, patience and perseverance, in Jesus’s name. Amen.

For more prayer resources visit the prayer page of the CAFOD website.

BOB Boxes Land in Sabden


Late in June on a sunny Sunday afternoon the B.O.B. Box Project, promoted by the Diocese of Salford and CAFOD Salford, landed in St Mary’s, Sabden.

A B.O.B. box is a unique, dual purpose bird nesting or bat roosting box, which won an ‘Observer Ethical Award” in 2011, now helping CAFOD to hopefully raise over £500,000.


At Sabden Summer Fair ten people bought or sponsored a BOB Box for £10 each.  These boxes can accommodate a bird or a bat to nest or roost, and will be sited strategically as part of Our Lady of the Valley parish’s Livesimply Award environmental activities. The Livesimply Award is an opportunity for Catholic communities – parishes, schools, religious orders and chaplaincies – to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation in Laudato Si’ to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.

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#Simplicity Day

Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ challenges us to “Care for Our Common Home” by growing in faith, hope, and love. We must strive to live in healthy relationships with God, neighbour, and all creation. We are called to be ecological citizens, to make prudent decisions, and to take sometimes bold actions. In the particular matter of climate change, we are cautioned to reduce emissions of pollutants like carbon dioxide when it is in our control.

So, today (12th July) we celebrate #simplicity day. We thought that it would be useful to give some examples on how the people from our office are trying to help the environment by making decisions that represent less waste and living simpler.

– No plastic bottles for me, thank you. Rosie has said ‘no’ to plastic bottles, so she always tries to carry around her bottle of water. This is a great decision since a million plastic bottles are bought around the world per minute. So, next time that you leave home try to take with you your reusable bottle.

-Personal hygiene – plastic free. Steve has decided since his birthday that his daily hygiene routines will not cost the environment. So, he had ditched ALL THE PLASTIC. This means, for example, replacing the plastic bottles for soap bars, plastic toothbrush for bamboo toothbrush.

-I only eat what I grow (on Thursdays). Bridge has decided that in her house they will only eat what they grow in their allotment on Thursdays. This means very fresh tomatoes and lettuce, but not always the amount of food that you usually expect when you go to the supermarket. But, this also gives you another perspective of how people who depend of what they grow is what they eat and become more conscious about what we buy.

-Give me nature. You know that the coconut oil can be used as a moisturiser, makeup removal, shaving cream,  hair conditioner and much more. So, I have decided to stop buying a bunch of cosmetics and replace them with coconut oil. This does not only help to reduce plastic bottle waste, but helps you too.

I hope you enjoyed our experiences and recommendations and that it encourages you to start making different decisions that will help the environment and live simpler.

Have a lovely day!

P.S: “An important part of our faith is to care for creation and to develop respect for other people in the world. Becoming a livesimply parish helps you go deeper and to take action.”

Written by Estefanía González