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Visiting priest from drought devastated region says ‘thanks’

Brisbane visit: Fr Jayanthi Maddala (left), of Blackall/Tambo parish, is with Bracken Ridge parish priest Fr Gerry Hefferan in St Joseph’s Church, Bracken Ridge.
Brisbane visit: Fr Jayanthi Maddala (left), of Blackall/Tambo parish, is with Bracken Ridge parish priest Fr Gerry Hefferan in St Joseph’s Church, Bracken Ridge.

A PRIEST took time away from his parish in the heart of drought-ravaged country Queensland recently to visit Brisbane and say “Thank you”.

Fr Jayanthi Maddala, who ministers in the Central West Queensland parish of Blackall/Tambo in Rockhampton diocese, visited the Parish of St Joseph and St Anthony at Bracken Ridge in Brisbane’s northern suburbs to thank the community there for support offered to his parish during the drought.

The Bracken Ridge parish has a “sister” relationship with Blackall/Tambo.

During his visit, Fr Maddala concelebrated and spoke at each of the weekend Masses at Bracken Ridge.

“For those based along Australia’s coastlines and cities, perhaps it can be difficult at times to truly comprehend the scale of the (drought) disaster,” he said.

“This prolonged drought is having a significant effect on the region of Blackall, and impacts, not only the agribusinesses, but also the town’s businesses and the communities as a whole.

“As you know, there is an increase in stress and other negative health effects.

“I am very humbled to take this precious moment to thank you personally for your ongoing financial and generous support which helps keep the Word of God, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the sacraments alive in the parish.”

Fr Maddala said support offered “gives us room to reach out to those in most need”.

“And, of course, thank you from the bottom of our hearts to you (parishioners) who have trekked out the long distance to Blackall in your caravans to spend time with us over the last few years,” he said.

“You have nearly become locals and sometimes I am amazed at the people you know and how much you know about what is happening in our town.

“I believe that the locals love having your cheery, familiar faces coming and going, knowing that they have someone with whom they can share their story; with someone that is trying to walk in their shoes and help them get through the tough times out there.

“The underlying incredible difference you have made in our parish is to know that there are other people out there that care about you.

“It is hard to put in words how much your financial support is deeply appreciated by all.

“Please keep us in your prayers for the blessing of drought-breaking rain to fall on all the areas throughout our nation suffering from this prolonged drought.

“May the Lord bless you and smile upon you always for all you do for your brothers and sisters (God’s people) of Blackall.”

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