By Peter Stanford "OUR charity complemented with justice for the Third World is a vital and authentic combination. Our charity without justice for the Third World is an unacceptable abdication of our collective responsibility," Cardinal Basil Hume told the 2,000 people who gathered in the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday to mark CAFOD's Silver Jubilee.
Complimenting the aid agency on 25 years of unrivalled achievement and service to the world community, the cardinal opened a di y of celebration which filled the whole building.
. From the main speakers on the vast Festival Hall stage, the choirs, the distinguished guests, through to the displays of lace crochet work, a jubilee cake, stands in the foyer highlighting every aspect of CAFOD's work, and a creche, the Festival Hall was alive all day with event and spectacle.
Among those to address the many CAFOD supporters who had journeyed from every corner of the country for the Gala Day were Fr Leonel Gomez, a Colombian who told of his work in northern Kenya among the nomadic people of that region, Sr Bernadette Okure, a Nigerian who has lived in the slums of Lagos, Jeffrey Pereira, director of CAFOD's sister agency in Bangladesh, and Dom Helder Camara, the retired Archbishop of Olinda-Recife in Brazil.
Profile, page 2 and more pictures, page 3 The diminutive 78-year-old prelate was given a standing ovation when he appealed for all those present to work together for "one world, one family". Dom Helder paid tribute to the work of CAFOD in his own country. "With CAFOD we have embraced across the oceans. The love of Christ has been manifest in the living partnership and friendship of our communities with yours".
Sharing the stage with such distinguished churchmen, were the eight winners of the Catholic Herald-CAFOD Poetry Competition. Accompanied by proud parents, grandparents and brothers and sisters, the eight — Ruth Lythe, Aidan Turner, Lucy Carroll, Ashley Parr, Sarah Hicks, Kyle Tebbitt, Francesca Collins and Polly Rance — met the judges before taking to the stage to read out their winning entries to applause from all around the auditorium. Book prizes were presented by Cardinal Hume to each of the eight.
The evening part of the Gala Day was given over to more familiar fayre for the Festival Hall with the world premiere of David Bedford's Into Thy Wondrous House". For Jayne Whittaker, a student of the Guildhall School of Music, a routine day turned into triumph. A run-of-the-mill rehearsal in the morning became a mad rush to find a dress and practice her piece for the evening when she was drafted in as a last minute substitute for Jill Gomez, the scheduled soloist who wasn't able to perform her role.
As well as thrilling the audience with her vocal powers, Jayne was able to delight her mother, who hopped on a plane Photo credit: Carlos Reyes from her home in the Channel Islands and sped to the Festival Hall at the last minute to hear her daughter perform.
A final seal of approval was set on the day's events when Pope John Paul sent a personal message of greeting. In a text conveyed through Cardinal Hume, the Pope urged that the Jubilee Year "will serve as an encouragement for the renewed commitment to the ever-present task of caring for the povertystricken and the neglected who are the brothers and sisters whom Jesus especially commends to us".