Ahead of the expected extreme cold weather due in Ireland this week, Archbishop Eamon Martin has issued the following statement to encourage parishioners to support the more vulnerable amongst us:
“The weather forecast for the coming days is expected to be exceptionally cold and to include a significant snowfall. This bad weather will affect and frighten many people across our country. Some will be afraid because they are alone, elderly, suffer from underlying medical conditions while others will be cold and hungry. They may too proud to admit their vulnerability.
“Parishes are at their strongest when they support their weakest. In the words of Jesus “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matt 25:40). Christ spoke of the parable of the Good Samaritan who cared for a stranger. It was enough that he was a person in need for the Samaritan to act – and to follow up afterwards to underpin that care.
“There is in each of us a Good Samaritan. The natural disposition of the human heart is to love. At this challenging time I am asking all able people of goodwill to:
- be alert – in person or by telephone – to the needs of vulnerable neighbour, old and young
- check if they have enough food, fuel supplies and adequate clothing
- assist in clearing pathways to homes, and offer transport for essential journeys
- use, as appropriate, the online reporting system provided by the Peter McVerry Trust to support rough sleepers on our streets: homelessdublin.ie/report-rough-sleeper
- donate warm cloths to charity shops
- support local farmers as it is lambing season and the death rate for all livestock increases sharply in extreme weather.
During these days I encourage the faithful to include the following in their prayers:
Prayer for shelter from the storm
God of heaven and earth,
God who carries our lives
and the lives of our whole community
in your hands,
be with us.
Send us your holy angels
to watch over and guard us.
May they spread their holy wings
to give us shelter against the storm.
We ask this through Christ,
- Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh of Primate of All Ireland
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Katie Crosby 00353 (0) 86 862 3298