Sr Bridget returned enthused from the 'Live Simply' event organized by CAFOD and others in Manchester in March.
She gives here a brief account of what the day meant to her.
Manchester , 15 th March…. awesome!!!
Arriving on the Saturday morning it was wonderful to receive such a warm welcome and I especially appreciated the kind offer of a cup of water. The hall seemed packed and I think the 500 chairs were almost full. The atmosphere was electric as Archbishop Sentanu, still without his dog-collar, was presented. He talked with great life and emphasis…put God first in our lives…there is no “I” in the word “team”… and then he asked us to number ourselves “one” and “two”. The “ones” were the poor and the “twos” were the rich. ‘What do the ones want?’ he asked, ‘Work, clothes, food, respect, to be listened to…’ The “ones” sat down and the Archbishop continued….
When he was due to give a talk about Uganda he could not sleep. He tossed and turned and then got up and took a glass of water and prayed. He believed he must tear up his collar as a sign of his solidarity with the people who suffer such abuse and violence. He told a couple of stories which made us laugh but which also supported his belief that justice and peace go hand in hand. He then took a long large loaf of bread broke it in half and shared it with both the ‘rich’ and the ‘poor’. But not before he had pointed out that the Trinity….we were about to celebrate the feast of St. Patrick…were in solidarity!!! The Father did not enjoy more power than the Son and the Holy Spirit; they are in perfect harmony, a loving relationship.
It was a great privilege to be present and I was sorry to leave but glad and filled with hope for the future of the planet. Others speakers also inspired me, from the teacher who tries so hard not to buy plastic bags to the young man who has so many young people in his care and who sees his hope in the young boy his brother has adopted in Guatemala.
Three cheers and thank you, CAFOD, for all that you are involved in, and for such an inspiring and hope-filled day!
Bridget Arscott, Bristol