Parishioners and school children came together in the New South Wales town of Cooma on Friday for a day of prayer for farmers affected by the “worst drought in living memory”. Source: Catholic Voice.
The drought, which is devastating farms and farmers across the country, has been dubbed by the Bureau of Meteorology the worst on record. The drought has expanded into areas people don’t traditionally associate with droughts, including the Snowy Mountain region.
“This drought has spread everywhere in NSW, and in parts of Victoria and Queensland as well,” Cooma parish priest Fr Mick MacAndrew said.
“I’ve had farmers come to me in tears … men I haven’t seen cry before … and they’re at their wits' end. “They don’t know when conditions will improve, they don’t know where they’ll get the money to purchase more feed for their stock.
“Some have already sold half of their stock to pay for the feed for the other half, and are now in a position where they need to sell half of the remaining stock.
“It really is the worst drought in living memory.”
Fr MacAndrew said the day of prayer was the result of parishioners praying for rain and for the end of the drought. He said the situation was “dire”.
“So we thought we’d try to help by applying our faith and having a day of prayer.”
Two Masses were celebrated on the day and parishioners came and shared their prayers for those suffering through the drought.
Children from St Patrick’s School in Cooma, many of them from farming families, visited the church to deliver prayers they had written for farming families. Adults were encouraged to do the same.
“We also had our children in the government schools to contribute their prayers as well,” he said.
Fr MacAndrew encouraged other parishes to support their farmers in this and other ways. While the focus of the day was on prayer, Fr MacAndrew said that the local St Vincent de Paul conference was open to receiving donations for the drought appeal as well.
“We’re a community and at times like these we help each other out,” Fr MacAndrew said.
Cooma comes together for day of prayer for farmers (Catholic Voice)