Ahead of the extreme weather which is expected to reach Ireland this week, Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, has invited the faithful to be Good Samaritans for the most vulnerable in our society.
Archbishop Eamon said, ‘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” (Mt 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.
The Archbishop of Armagh continued, ‘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.’
Archbishop Martin concluded by inviting people to pray the following Prayer for Shelter for 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,