Churches join forces to send prayers for rain
WHILE no amount of human force can pry open the heavens and make it pour Father Jamie Collins is hoping a day of prayer will offer much-needed support and encouragement to a struggling community.
As the chair of the combined churches of Roma, Fr Collins said the day of prayer, open to all, would be an opportunity for people to stop in for as long as they wanted to say a prayer.
“It’s something we’ve organised ecumenically to be held in the Catholic Church,” he said.
“We will commence at 9am with a mass, and throughout the day the doors will be open for people to drop in for five minutes or an hour.
“We’re hoping to just build up the number of people here over the day praying. “We’ll have an evening prayer at 5pm to finish it off.”
This isn’t the first time Fr Collins has organised a day of prayer, having gathered dozens in churches previously in Roma and St George.
“It’s a pretty simple thing to do but it’s something meaningful and in these current times, it’s something people can look to for that little bit of extra encouragement and support.,” he said.
“There was a priest who used to say ‘you don’t pray for rain, you pray for patience and perseverance until the rain comes’ so we’ll just be there to support each other, show we care and encourage those people who are doing it tough.”
Having been a parish priest in Roma and St George for 18 of his 21 years of ordainment, Fr Collins said he’d often heard people saying this was the worst drought in living memory.
“Patience and perseverance is starting to run out a little bit and that’s why we want to try to do our best with this particular day,” he said.
“There are a lot of places that are praying for rain, and this is just one way of supporting each other, as Christian people do, praying for each other and praying the rain will come.”
Practically speaking, St Vincent de Paul, an organisation with which the Catholic Church works closely, will be distributing the most recent round of drought assistance from the federal government.
In addition, this year’s Christmas collection will raise funds for mental health support.
“We are here to support people physically, spiritually, and mentally,” he said.