I am very grateful to those who have sent me greetings ... and cards. I will say Mass for all of you and I thank you for your kindness; I reciprocate your good wishes. All of you!!
At the same time, can I beg you to pray for the suffering people of South East Australia; for the repose of the departed; health for the injured; comfort for those who have been bereaved or have had to stand and watch their homes, their livelihoods, burning. And remember the firefighters, bravely risking their lives and sometimes losing them.
There are parts of the world where fires are fairly routine and one gets accustomed to the news. But it is quite clear that what is now happening in Australia is of a quite exceptional order of sheer horror. It is not some ordinary seasonal event. We owe these poor people the fellowship of our prayer. Masses and Rosaries, in particular.
Our Lady Help of Christians is the Patron of Australia (Mass in appropriate missals on May 24).