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Sister Beatrice Molyneux fcj and Sean Mullen.

Being new to all this, I asked Ann Wilson from CAFOD if she would arrange for somebody to talk to us here at St Mary’s on the 4th and 5th March about Lenten Fast Day 2017. We were indeed fortunate to have Sister Beatrice Molyneux fcj. to come along over a wet and cold weekend.

CAFOD Soup Lunch on the Friday 10th March will give us opportunity to consider her message from another point of view related to Family Fasting.

Sister Beatrice arrived from Salford at our church on Saturday evening; unfortunately she had got herself lost and arrived wet through, a typical Ossy welcome!  

Following the Masses Sister Beatrice joined us for tea/coffee at the back of church and talked to many people who appreciated her talk……

…………….I want to talk to you about something truly amazing…

Something huge.

A fish the size of your thumb…yet to Florence in Zambia, Southern Africa, it might be the biggest fish in the world.

Florence is a hard-working mother who is devoted to her family. She wants to make sure there is food on the table and to send her younger children to school.

A few years ago, she was only just making enough to feed her family.  She told us: “I had challenges. I couldn’t get enough money to buy farming equipment. I wanted to grow corn, but struggled and I grew just enough to survive.”

Each day, Florence would wake at around six to plant, sow, water and care for her crops. And late at night, when her children had a simple meal and were in bed, she would go to sleep with sore hands and an aching back.

Change came.

It came in the form of a partner CAFOD supports and their brilliant plan involving tiny fish.

The Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary have been working in the community for over 20 years. They recognised how determined Florence was to stand on her own two feet and so they gave her 500 tiny fish as well as the tools and training to build a pond to farm them.  

With continued love and support from the sisters, as well as Florence’s commitment and determination, the fish grew and grew…

By selling some of the fish at the market, Florence was able to give her children a future –

she was able to send them to school. And Florence is already giving back, sharing what she has with the most vulnerable in her community; ensuring the impact of those few small fish continues to spread.    

This Friday is Lent Fast Day when we come together to make sacrifices - such as eating a simple lunch or supper - so that our poorest sisters and brothers can live lives free of poverty.