The community of the Good Shepherd Seminary in Sydney are praying the Rosary daily for all those affected by the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
Due to the quakes’ proximity to the Middle East where Eastern Rite churches to which some of the new seminarians belong originate and are strongly present (such as the Maronite and Chaldean Rites), the seminary faculty have united throughout the month of February to ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede for the troubled nations.
To date, more than 46,000 people have died while millions have been displaced and are sleeping out in the open, many in sub-zero temperatures.
Access to food and clean water continues to be a challenge, bringing the risk of cholera and numerous other diseases.
Good Shepherd Seminary rector Fr Michael de Stoop said seminarians and staff have come together in their devotion to Mary, identifying themselves with her unwavering strength.
He said the disaster, one of the deadliest this century, highlights the importance of uniting in prayer for all those affected.
“… the Rosary is a powerful means of hope, thanks to our Blessed Mother who remained faithful at the foot of the Cross.”
“The great loss of life is particularly saddening for our seminarians, who hail from the regions affected by the devastating earthquakes,” he told The Catholic Weekly.
“The Rosary is a way to unite in sorrow with those who are living through this traumatic event and with Our Lady of Sorrows.
“As such, the Rosary is a powerful means of hope, thanks to our Blessed Mother who remained faithful at the foot of the Cross.
“Amid our trying times, external events are challenging the faith of Christians.
“The seminary faculty have risen to the occasion with their Marian devotion, much like the men who have been assembling in the forecourt of St Mary’s Cathedral to pray the Rosary each month, identifying themselves with Mary’s strength of faith.
“Indeed, they are looking to Mary as a means of giving witness to remaining faithful to God in trying times.”