Bishops call for prayers as Australia bushfires continue

By: Ador Vincent Mayol, Carla P. Gomez, Tina G. Santos - Philippine Daily Inquirer | January 07,2020 - 12:32 PM

Catholic bishops on Monday asked the faithful to pray for Australia as catastrophic bushfires continue to blaze across the country.

The Diocese of Balanga in Bataan has released a prayer in solidarity with the people in Australia.

“In solidarity of the Diocese of Balanga to Australia, we have this prayer being recited in the diocese,” said Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos.

The prayer reads: “Almighty and loving God, the whole earth belongs to You! You are the author of life; of every living thing. Be with the people in Australia, now in the midst of catastrophic bushfires. We beg you O God to take over and release your power. We know you will supply everything we need, even the rain from the heavens. Great is your faithfulness O Lord!

Look compassionately upon those who put their complete trust in You and make Yourself real to those who do not believe so they too, may have faith.

We pray for all the lives lost, homes destroyed, lands burnt to the grounds, and livelihoods gone. We pray for all the firefighters and volunteers for their strength to be renewed. We also lift up to you those who struggle with despair and unbelief in these trying times.

Provide a place of refuge and provision for everyone. Encourage us all in knowing that your sanctuary of love is eternal. We humbly ask that you hear our prayers Almighty Father, in the name of your most precious son, Jesus, Amen.”

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the fires should serve as an eye-opener to everyone that climate change is real.

Climate change

The fires should also make us realize that climate change is real so we should change our lifestyle to conserve energy and avoid pollution,” he said in an interview.

“This shows how human beings are incapable to stop the wrath of nature. Pray that God intervenes to put it off,” Pabillo added.

The fires that have hit more than 6 million hectares as of Sunday have killed 24 people and more than half a billion animals, and have destroyed more than 1,500 houses.

The local churches of Cebu and San Carlos also appealed to people to offer prayers to put out the fires that have been raging out of control in Australia.

“We are encouraging and asking our faithful and the Cebuanos to include in their fervent prayers the victims displaced by the Australian bushfire,” said Msgr. Ruben Labajo, the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Cebu.

“In times like these, we are reminded that our God will be always there to provide help,” he added.

Divine intervention

San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza also called on the faithful to pray for divine intervention.

“You may pray the Rosary, offer your Holy Communion at the Eucharist, your acts of love during the day, or you may join a worldwide call to prayer,” Alminaza said.

Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon said the priests of the Diocese of Bacolod are meeting on Tuesday to discuss their response in solidarity with the people of Australia.

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TAGS: Australia, bishops, bushfires, call, continue, prayers

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