At a Mass in St George's Cathedral, Southwark on 11th June, Archbishop Peter Smith gave thanks for the amazing work undertaken by Catholic charities.
The Mass, celebrating "Catholics building a brighter future" was the culmination of a “Share your prayer” campaign, encouraging and inspiring the Catholic community to share a prayer for a brighter future, and become part of the mission to bring it about.
The campaign and Mass were organised by "Your Catholic Legacy," a group of 26 Catholic charities working together to inspire and encourage the Catholic community to consider leaving gifts to Catholic causes in their Wills. Apostleship of the Sea are a founder member of the consortium.
Over 150 prayers were shared through the YCL website and facebook page, and were displayed on prayer trees in the Cathedral.
Many of the congregation of around 200 added their prayers to the trees before and after the Mass.
Archbishop Peter gives his homily. © Sophie Stanes/Life Through a Lens
The Archbishop gave thanks for work undertaken in the UK and overseas by Catholic charities and said: “During my time as a priest and bishop I have been privileged to see at first hand the effort and expertise Catholic charities and Church networks put into caring for the most vulnerable members of society.
"Catholic causes rely upon the kindness and generosity of the Catholic community to fund their life-saving and life-changing work. Legacies – no matter how small – play a crucial role in this funding. Legacies help to give hope to thousands and share God’s love in time of crisis.”
This sentiment was echoed by YCL Chair, Alastair Emblem (Legacy Officer at AoS), when he addressed the reception that followed the Mass. “Catholics are very generous givers in their lifetimes, and you can be justifiably proud of that. But, at present, we are not so good at including Catholic causes in our wills. So what we are asking you to do today is to seriously consider doing so.”
Also speaking at the reception were Barry and Margaret Mizen who set up the ‘For Jimmy’ charity in dedication to their son who was murdered in 2008.
They shared their story of setting up the charity to build a legacy of hope and peace in Jimmy’s memory.
They asked people present to consider what they could do to transform the future. It was very evident that everyone was exceptionally moved by their strength and dedication.
Alastair and the Mizens. © Sophie Stanes/Life Through a Lens
This was demonstrated by one of the prayers shared through the campaign: “Heavenly Father. I thank you for the good example given to us all by Barry and Margaret Mizen. May we be generous and leave some gift to help the needy in the world.” – May, London.
Thanking the Mizens for their moving and inspiring talk, Alastair concluded: “The fact that you can look to the future with hope challenges us to consider how each of us might contribute to building a better future for our world. And that is the purpose of today: to celebrate what is already being achieved, but to use that as a springboard for building a brighter future.
“After taking care of your family and loved ones in your will, we would ask you to consider a legacy to those Catholic charities you currently support, not forgetting your Parish and other Catholic causes which do so much to change the lives of those in need.”