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Pope asks us to pray for Australia

POPE AUDIENCE
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Local bishops suggest where to donate

“I am close to the people of Australia,” Pope Francis assured as he concluded Wednesday’s general audience.

He urged everyone to take the situation of the wildfires raging across the country to prayer: “I want to ask everyone to pray to the Lord for help in this difficult moment, with these fires that are so powerful.”

Bishops: Donate here

The bishops’ conference of Australia has called the wildfires an “unprecedented calamity.”

Lives have been lost, homes and towns have been destroyed, smoke has shrouded large swathes of our country. And there is no end in sight to the horror which confronts us with our powerlessness before the devastating force of nature.

The bishops nevertheless said the response has been “Australia at its best,” and said that firefighters have been heroic, while community resilience has been extraordinary.

The bishops said a special collection will be taken up on Sunday, January 26, but encouraged donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Society here

Facing this exceptional crisis, we renew our call for insistent prayer for those stricken by drought and fire, for those who have lost their lives in the fires and their families, for rain to quench the parched land and extinguish the fires, and for urgent action to care for our common home in order to prevent such calamities in the future.

A genuinely Catholic response to a crisis of this magnitude must draw strength from prayer which inspires concrete and compassionate action.

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