School student Justin Parker has returned to bushfire-ravaged NSW with a message of hope from the Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge, reports The Catholic Leader.
The school captain of MacKillop Catholic College, Warnervale on the NSW Central Coast, is spreading a message of encouragement to his college community as it attempts to support anxious and exhausted nearby communities still under major threat from scores of fires.
Many of the fires were still burning out of control after nearly a week. "I met with Archbishop Mark Coleridge after Mass and discussed how my school, MacKillop Catholic College was planning to support affected families in any way possible," Justin said after his Brisbane visit.
"The parish of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop is known for its generosity and holds close the benevolent message of Mary MacKillop. "His Grace offered his thoughts and prayers to our community, especially to the Rural Fire Service and SES."
Justin met the Archbishop after 11.30am Mass in St Stephen's Cathedral on Saturday, October 19. At that point the fires had destroyed 200 homes in the Springwood area of the Blue Mountains and burnt out Central Coast areas near Warnervale including Chain Valley Bay, a suburb on the banks of Lake Macquarie.
Photo: Rural Fire Service firefighter Garry Reid puts in containment lines on the Darling Causeway near the township of Bell, in the Blue Mountains