17 February 2009
Archbishop Hart of Melbourne thanks Cardinal Brady for his prayerful support concerning the loss of life and suffering in the bushfires
Cardinal Brady wrote “The loss of so many lives, together with the shocking destruction of homes and livelihoods has touched our hearts. At the same time, the compassionate and courageous efforts by so many to reach out towards neighbours who are grieving or in need, are a powerful witness to Christ’s presence, even in your darkest hour.”
Cardinal Brady assured the Australian bishops of the prayers and thoughts of the Irish people at this time. On 13 February Archbishop Hart acknowledged this correspondence and thanked Cardinal Brady for his letter “concerning the tremendous loss of life and suffering in the bushfires which have ringed Melbourne since Saturday last.”
Archbishop Hart continued “I mentioned your kind message, together with those of Pope Benedict, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, and many other bishops. Your genuine kindness and prayers are very much appreciated. On Wednesday I visited Whittlesea, the area next to Kinglake and St Andrews and Strathewen which is being used as the relief base where people who have lost everything can come and try and remake their lives. There is tremendous strength of unity and people are coming to work with the people and make them feel that they are supported and loved. I celebrated some very touching prayers with the young people of St Mary’s School, Whittlesea, spoke to parents, those who had lost everything, and also I encouraged the workers for Red Cross, the fire fighters, police and emergency service workers. I hope to go to some of the other areas; Healesville, Yea and Alexandra during next week.”
Archbishop Hart concluded by assuring Cardinal Brady that prayers for the suffering people of the region were deeply appreciated at this time.
Notes for Editors:
- Last July, more than 800 young Irish Catholics, supported by eight bishops including Cardinal Seán Brady and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, travelled to Sydney for World Youth Day and for the Vigil and closing Mass with Pope Benedict XVI. World Youth Day is an invitation from the Pope to the youth of the world to celebrate their faith around a particular theme. It has become the largest single mobilisation of young people in the world.
Martin Long, Director of Communications (086 172 7678)