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Australia: drought crushing the country. The bishops ask to hold a prayer campaign and to assist people in need

A “national prayer campaign for drought” will involve the Catholic Church in Australia in November, to pray “for the people affected by a devastating drought” and to “ask for the gift of rain”. Southern and Eastern Australia has just ended a winter with really very little rain and is getting ready to have a summer that the weather service has announced will be hotter and drier than ever.

In the most affected dioceses (such as Bathurst and Wilcannia-Forbes), fund-raising initiatives have already been held since August to provide financial support to families and farmers. Now, the initiative of prayer will be extended to all the country, because “it is the whole country that suffers, when a drought is so bad”, stated Columba Macbeth-Green, bishop of Wilcannia Forbes. Because “if the people who live where there’s plenty of water, or at least enough of it, seem to be unaware of what grief the drought is causing, this is only increasing the problems of the people who live in the communities that have been hit by the drought”, he stated. “Catholic parishes, schools, families and communities all over the country are encouraged to take part in the national prayer campaign and to assist the people who are most in need”, this is written on the website of the Australian Bishops, which provides a number of practical tips for donations and materials for praying.

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