By Emilie Ng
FAMILY members and friends of two Brisbane couples who were on board missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 that was confirmed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean have turned to God for hope and answers.
Darra Jindalee parish priest Fr Dan Carroll said Mary and Rodney Burrows, two of six Australians on board MH370, were members of his parish.
The Burrows’ were travelling to China on MH370 for a holiday with friends Robert and Catherine Lawton, of Springfield.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced earlier this week that the plane had crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, west of Perth, leaving no survivors.
Speaking on behalf of the Burrows and the Lawton families, Fr Carroll said it was “a very distressing time”.
“The family is most grateful of the prayerful support they have been receiving from our community and beyond,” he said. “They continue to hope and are longing for answers.
“They have witnessed at Mass that their parents are being included in the prayers of the faithful.”
Since the flight’s disappearance, Fr Carroll said both families and close friends of the Burrows’ and the Lawtons’ had been hoping that their loved ones would be found safe.
At the request of both families, loved ones offered their prayers, intentions and their uncertainties about the plane’s mysterious disappearance at a morning prayer service at Twelve Apostles Church on March 15.
Fr Carroll said in a statement the families “need hope and courage at this distressing time”.
“We all know they are suffering through not knowing what has happened to their loved ones,” he said.
Fr Carroll led the family in a prayer service centred on hope and how God held all His people in the palm of His hand.
The service included readings from Psalm 119 and Cardinal John Henry Newman’s hymn, Lead Kindly Light.
Family members lit their family candles from the parish’s Paschal candle, a reminder that Jesus is the light of the world, Fr Carroll said.
He invited others to continue to pray for Mary and Rodney and Robert and Catherine and their loved ones.
“Their extended families from across the world are most grateful for all the prayers and support they have been getting,” he said.