Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, an Australian community, in a worldwide religious congregation.
Jesus loved with a human heart: with him we proclaim his love to the world.
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- Published: Friday, 10 December 2010 07:08
There has been a long tradition of referring to the New South Wales town of Bourke as something like the ends of the earth, the area ‘back of Bourke’.
The rains in December have flooded vast areas in the eastern states. On December 10th, the news announced that 30 towns in New South Wales were under water.
Fr John Shallvey MSC has been serving in Bourke during 2010. He reminds us of some of the repercussions of the floods. Fr Pat Austin MSC has been in Balranald for several years and adds a note from there.
There have been some very sad stories surfacing re the rain. Some have lost everything after living with the hope and expectation of a great harvest after years of drought only to see it destroyed before their eyes. I heard of one farmer unable to bear the consequences the bank taking over his property. After pleading in vain with a contractor (as it turned out, it would have made no difference had he stayed) not to leave his property he went home and shot himself.
For myself it has only been frustration for the last three weekends at not being to reach out to the outlying towns for Mass and the sacraments because of impassable roads. Tonight the end of year school concert was called off because of rain.
Pat Austin adds:
The Murrumbidgee at Balranald is about a foot below the top of the bank. In town, the scenic drive in the park is closed. However, we do not expect the present Wagga waters to reach here till about Christmas. The main impact of the rain has been on orchards and crops. However, we have not had the huge downfalls others have had. So, some of our fruit and wheat can still be harvested - given a sunny break.