Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has shared a prayer to be said before Masses for rain to end the “devastating drought and fires across our country”.
A number of Sydney parishes adopted the new prayer known as a Collect for the Mass for Rain and written by the archbishop in the first week of the New Year which saw 3,000 Australian Defence Force reservists called to assist the Rural Fire Service which has been battling bushfires since September.
“O God, in whom we live and move and have our being, grant us sufficient rain so that, being supplied with what sustains us in this present life, we may seek more confidently what sustains us for eternity,” the prayer begins.
“Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”
The archbishop had already called for the faithful to join him in praying for “our courageous firefighters putting their own lives at risk to prevent further loss of life from bushfires in a number of Australian states”.
“We have sadly seen firefighters as well as members of the public lose their lives in this disaster with the NSW south coast particularly hard hit,” he said.
“Let us unite in a prayer to our nation’s patron, Our Lady Help of Christians to reach out to all in harm’s way at this this difficult time. Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for us.”
Meanwhile, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has extended its national prayer campaign for rain during November to run “indefinitely” until the country’s ongoing drought conditions ease.
Prayer resources have been developed for parishes, schools, communities and families to participate in the National Prayer Campaign. They can be accessed at www.catholic.org.au/drought