Catholic Church to provide mattresses and spiritual solace
IT'S been a 'baptism of fire' or more appropriately, of flood for the Most Rev Greg Homeming as he takes in the devastation that has hit his diocese.
Only five weeks into the job as the Roman Catholic Bishop of Lismore, which covers all the flood affected areas in the Northern Rivers, and Bishop Greg's heart is breaking for people who are suffering.
"I feel for the man and his daughter in the Tweed Heads who have lost their family,” he said.
"For those in business, it's hard work and with little return, and now they have no income coming in while they are already in debt.”
Bishop Greg said he has authorised his finance people to help provide for anyone who has lost a mattress, to get a brand new one.
"One of my priests said he had never seen so many mattresses on the street,” he said.
"If we have a way of getting things to the people this is a small start.
"We can do more later, but everyone needs a place to sleep.”
Bishop Greg said he was adamant that he would try and source the mattresses from local sellers and they would be for anyone who needed one.
"You don't have to be Catholic, everyone is a part of this diocese,” he said.
The Catholic church in Lismore has suffered through the flood with Father Peter Karam's Our Lady Help of Christians school in Lismore damaged.
"The school and the before and after day care hall and the administration centre all got damaged by flood,” he said.
"We are all in clean up mode at the moment as we are getting ready for Palm Sunday and of course Easter is just around the corner.”
Bishop Greg said this Friday at 12.05pm at St Carthages Cathedral there will be a special mass for everyone, whether Catholic or not, to come together and pray for those who need it.
"It's a chance to come together as a community,” he said.
"Big events like (the flood) often have big results in people.
"At the moment you only see the suffering but it's making a town into a community.
"It's neither a good or bad event, it's what you make of it.”
Bishop Greg said his prayers are for all the diocese whether Catholic, Muslim or Jew.
"We are all people,” he said.