CAFOD sent us the following announcement this afternoon: We were greatly saddened to learn that one of the founding members of CAFOD, Jacqueline Stuyt (formally Jacqueline Stuyt-Simpson), has passed away at the age of 88. Mrs Stuyt suggested to the National Board of Catholic Women in 1959 that it should organize a Family Fast Day. So in 1960 Mrs Stuyt, supported by the then chair of the NBCW, Evelyn White, the treasurer Elspeth Orchard and the secretary Nora Warmington set about organising a Family Fast Day for Ember Friday in Lent, on 12th March 1960. The group produced and printed 600,000 copies of a simple leaflet which asked people to 'go without so that others might have' and they sent copies to all parishes and religious communities in England and Wales. The money raised from this first Family Fast Day was earmarked for a project tackling malnutrition among children in Dominica, one of the Windward Islands. The project had been set up by the Social League of Catholic Women and was run by a Belgian nun, Sr. Alicia, a member of the Missionary Sisters of St. Augustine. The women expected to raise about £500 to £1000. In fact they raised £6,673.9s7d and the initiative was so successful that they repeated the Family Fast Day in Lent 1961 and raised £27,000. The success was such that in the following year, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales created CAFOD to continue the women's good work. Mrs Stuyt last visited CAFOD in 2000 for an unveiling of the icon Mary of the Magnificat: Mother of the poor, commissioned by CAFOD to mark the Jubilee Year 2000. CAFOD director Chris Bain said: "Jacqueline was a woman dedicated and committed to both her faith and improving the lives of others. It is the vision that she shared with the other members of the National Board of Catholic Women back in 1959, that has grown into CAFOD as it is today. "Her legacy will live on every day with every person helped by CAFOD's life changing work all over the developing world. " Her memorial service will be held on Friday May 23rd with Mass at noon in the Church of Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, Queensway.
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