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A prayer for the Shoalhaven

January 3, 2020

We continue to pray for the Shoalhaven region that encompasses the parishes of St Michael’s Nowra (including the church communities of Vincentia, Culburra Beach, Bombaderry, Berry and Kangaroo Valley) and St Mary Star of the Sea Milton (including the church communities of Ulladulla and Sussex Inlet) in our diocese. We invite all in our diocese to pray this prayer over the next 24 hours as they brace for worsening conditions on Saturday. Practical support can also be given through the St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal.

Almighty God,

Who alone created the beauty and the bounty of our land, who cares and loves everyone—from the farmers on the land to the families in our homes—be with your people in the Shoalhaven now in the midst of the bushfires.

Bring an end to the loss of lives and the loss of homes. Bring aid to the firefighters who, by serving others, serve you. Give them courage and strength to persevere, to find the ability in their bodies and souls to keep working for another day or hour or minute. Ease the winds that spread the flames and disperse the smoke that covers the sky.

Bring hope to the displaced and the homeless. Keep alive inside their minds and hearts memories, the physical traces of which may be lost. Remind us that you are the promise of a new tomorrow.

Bring rest and peace to those who have been lost, and let their souls find eternal life with you. Be a comfort and relief to the grieving.

As the towns and communities are rebuilt, may no one be left behind. May all be remembered as you remember all. As you led the Hebrew people through the desert, lead your people now, God. From locals and holiday makers who face unique obstacles evacuating the region; to families who have lost loved ones; to those who have lost everything they have built over a lifetime, may all be included and cared for as we rebuild, guided by your Spirit.

May our hearts never turn away from you or from each other in our time of need. May we see you in the faces of those in need. May we see your work in the hands of all those who reach out to help and in the green—the life!—that will soon return, by your hand, to our land.

Amen.

St Patrick, pray for us.
St Mary Star of the Sea, pray for us.
St Catherine of Siena, pray for us.
St Florian, pray for us.

Adapted from a prayer by Antonio De Loera-Brust.

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