By Ellen Teague
Sheila Gallagher of the parish of Mary Immaculate and St Peter, New Barnet was given a Papal Blessing at Mass on Sunday 3rd February for three decades of volunteer work with CAFOD and for being a ‘tireless champion’ of Justice and Peace initiatives. The presentation was made by Tony Sheen, CAFOD worker in Westminster, who thanked Sheila ‘for her inspiration and witness to the Gospel over so many years.’
In the 1980s, Sheila was instrumental in setting up the Justice and Peace network in north London. A great networker, she helped organise more than 20 annual area days. Sheila is now a supporter of the diocesan commission. In the 1990s she helped put together 'A Taste for Peace', a Pax Christi reflection and cookery book, which Pax Christi still promotes.
Since the millennium she has an active member of the national Justice and Peace network environmental group, which meets regularly to ensure faith and ecology feature in J&P work and the causes of environmental crises are highlighted. More recently, New Barnet parish achieved the Livesimply award after years of work by Sheila and a committed team.
She and husband Don truly live the spirit of Laudato Si’, to hear ‘the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.’