As part of my year at Castlerigg, I am also on a programme with CAFOD (Catholic Agency For Overseas Development). The programme is called Step Into the Gap and will involve me raising as much awareness as I can about CAFOD to people in and around Castlerigg.

 I will be part of the Lancaster CAFOD team for the year and even visit Cambodia in January to help with CAFOD’s partners out there.

 October is always a very important month for CAFOD as it is the month in which one very important day occurs…FAMILY FAST DAY!

 Throughout the UK, CAFOD volunteers will be speaking at Parishes and informing people about how they can take part in this day. Put simply, it is one day a year where CAFOD encourages families, friends and Parishes to come together as a community and have a simple meal, giving the money you would save to CAFOD.

 John 10:10 says: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”. Through giving to CAFOD, God’s children all around the world will be given the chance to share in the abundance and goodness of creation. At the moment, far too many of the earth’s people are miles from clean water or struggling to grow crops, whilst many of us in the West are unaware of the real struggles or of how to help…

 BUT there is a way to help and CAFOD have a plan.

 In particular, CAFOD are sharing Fabiano’s story this year – telling us how donations helped him last year and turned his life around!!


 Fabiano lives in Uganda, and dreams of becoming a doctor. Determined to make his dreams come true, he would wake up extremely early to walk 3 miles and collect water before school. The same would be done again once home from school. One night, a man emerged from the darkness and asked Fabiano for some water. Eager to help, Fabiano gave the man some water, but the man dropped the water can and attacked Fabiano. Fabiano ran home in fear of his life.

Luckily those dark nights walking miles to collect water are over for Fabiano now. A solar powered water pump has been installed in his village and it only takes 4 minutes to collect the water, meaning he has much more energy for school and his life has been turned around, allowing him to follow his dreams in the safe environment that he deserves!

Lives can be changed with donations. A simple giving of saved change on a meal can contribute to the dreams and safety of a whole village. A simple give can mean many of God’s children are given the chance to live an abundant life in a justified world.

Family Fast day is coming up on the 4th of October and is one day a year where we can really come together in faith, in community and help those who are a part of our common home. God can use us to do incredible things, and our faith is powerful. If you can, try and give this Family Fast Day and pray with CAFOD for all of God’s children!

 Below is a prayer especially for people like Fabiano and in hope of changing more lives! Look at the CAFOD website or social media to find out more about Family Fast Day and keep updated with the changes your prayers and donations make…

 Jesus, Lord, we wonder

At the miracle of creation,

At God’s children, balancing joy on their fingertips.

 Hold us as we hear their stories,

From another place, another voice –

Those distant sounds that grow louder

In our heart as we listen, closely.

 Lead us out to meet you, Lord,

In the beauty of your people,

In the power of their stories,

In their lives,

as they touch and change ours.

 May your generous Spirit transform us,

In the richness of our listening,

In the brightness of the moment,

In the sharing,

In the loving,

in the wonder.

Rebecca, Castlerigg Manor