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By Sean Byrne

It is no exaggeration to say people are really fatigued and worried with the constant amount of rain and bad weather which has hit our country in the last few months. Farmers are on the point of exhaustion, sheds full of livestock waiting to get out, slurry tanks overflowing and crops which cannot be sowed. To try and turn this worry on its head  I approached Fr Joe Power to offer a special Mass for fine weather on Monday April 8th in Saint Brigid's church Kilrush.

Even though it was only organised at 4 days notice almost 250 people appeared and it was an enormous success. The liturgy was greatly added to by the active participation of Rev Trevor Sargent Church of Ireland rector and members of his congregation who attended. We were also graced with parishioners of surrounding  parishes from Wexford, Wicklow and Carlow.

Our mass started with the prayer for the climate from Laudato Si. The Gospel of the day was the story of the Annunciation which gave a story of how a young teenage girl had trust in the Lord. Father Power asked all people to do the same at this time of crisis. The prayers of the faithful asked for many things, for weather to graze our livestock and to sow our crops, that all people urban, rural, farming and environmental would work collaboratively for the environment, that we would show greater appreciation for the beauty of our surrounding nature and finally that all people experiencing emotional and financial stress at the present time would experience healing and relief.

As a farmer the recent show of solidarity by Bishop Ger and Church of Ireland Bishop Wilkinson is greatly welcome. The Christian Media Trust also have been proactive in stirring up awareness and support for those working at the coalface.

It is so vital at this time to talk and listen to each other at this time of crisis. Keep the welfare of our neighbour  in mind . If I ask someone "how they are", and someone says to me "I'm alright", I get suspicious and always ask a second time. As I write this there is an improving weather forecast on the horizon and maybe the darkest hour is just before the dawn.

As I fed the cattle on Saturday morning a gloomy sheet of mist and damp fog overhung Sliabh Bhuidhe. However when Bishop Ger came on the radio with a prayer the sun appeared all of a sudden with a beautiful blue and white sky.

Thank God for our sense of community and the voluntary spirit which underpins the organisations which give us valuable relief  from the stresses of modern life.


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