Praying for rain
THE Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) has extended the National Prayer Campaign for Drought as historic hot weather conditions continue to affect most parts of eastern Australia.
The Bishops Conference initiated the prayer campaign during the month of November, but decided it should run indefinitely, until drought conditions eased.
Bishops Conference President Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane said many schools, parishes and dioceses already had local initiatives in place before the national campaign began.
He said that focus on the drought had continued in the weeks since the end of November.
“As we prepare for the celebration of Christmas, we can’t forget the many suffering through these catastrophic drought conditions, which are very much part of the bushfire crisis we are seeing in large parts of the country,” he said.
In announcing the prayer campaign in October, the bishops said it was a time to pray for those affected by crippling drought conditions, to pray for the gift of rain and invite people to assist those most in need.
Wilcannia-Forbes Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green OSPPE, who oversees a diocese that covered some of the most drought-affected areas in the country, said the national campaign was an additional response to the local work being done in affected communities.
“Some of our Catholic ministries, along with other faith-based, charitable and government organisations, are doing remarkable work supporting people with material needs, offering financial support and responding to people’s psychological and spiritual needs,” he said.
Bishop Macbeth-Green said while some parts of the country are more affected than others, a national campaign was necessary.
“That people living where there is plentiful, or at least enough, water don’t seem aware of how much suffering the drought is causing only adds to the hardship of those in drought-affected communities,” he said.
“The Church across Australia – lay people, religious, priests and bishops alike – needs to stand in solidarity with those suffering most acutely, offering prayers and practical support to those in most need.”
The ACBC has developed Prayer resources for parishes, schools, communities and families to participate in the National Prayer Campaign that can be accessed at https://www.catholic.org.au/drought
There are also links to appeals and other material related to drought assistance.
Crippling drought conditions are affecting large parts of Australia
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