We know from media reports and the stark images on TV, that Cyclone Gabrielle has caused widespread damage and suffering for many people, including our own people in Wairoa and Hawkes Bay. People are still missing, many people’s homes have been damaged or destroyed, livelihoods are at risk and sadly, others still have lost loved ones.
Their suffering is very real, they need our help, and we need to show them we care. The first thing we can do is pray for them and for all who are risking their own lives to help them. The government, local government, the military and good people on the ground are working hard, providing immediate relief to those most in need.
Disruption to ordinary communication has seriously impeded people’s efforts to contact loved ones in the affected areas and all those working hard to bring relief. This has brought a great deal of stress to an already very difficult situation. Across the diocese we are aware of isolated incidents including flooding and fallen trees which have caused property damage.
Earlier today, I heard from the Marist Fathers and the Mission sisters in Napier that they are safe and sound. We still have no contact with Fr Rob Devlin and the parish and school in Wairoa which, according to the media, seems hardest hit. (Fr Craig has since received word that Fr Rob, Fr Karaitiana Kingi and Br Denis O’Brien are all safe and well.) Speaking to congregational leaders, Fr Tim Duckworth SM and Sr Margaret Monaghan RNDM two things are clear. Our sisters and priests in Hawkes Bay and Wairoa are resourceful and they’re part of communities. Both these things are in their favour.
As a diocese we have a responsibility to show we care and right now a small team are working on our practical response. Please find below a prayer resource and a simple Liturgy for classroom prayer and families around the dinner table.
May our good God continue to bless you and keep all our loved ones safe.
Diocese of Palmerston North
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