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Catholic bishop urging prayers for rain

Bishop Michael Pfeifer of the Texas Diocese of San Angelo has sent letters to 73 parishes requesting them to observe this coming weekend as "a special weekend of prayer, fasting and sacrifice for the much needed gift of rain."

He also wrote to 23 mayors and asked them to consider his request to proclaim Sunday a Day of Prayer for Rain.

Pfeifer emphasised the long Christian tradition of prayer for relief from drought.

"Even today, we should stop and recognise that we are dependent beings who cannot control all things," Pfeifer said. "God has put nature all around us the sun, moon, stars and clouds."

One parish priest - Fr Mark Woodruff - said: "People can scoff or look upon this with skepticism if they want, but the fact remains that our farmers and ranchers are facing severe drought."

Bishop Pfeifer said he is asking people of all faiths to pray together for the rain that falls equally upon us all.

"We are one huge community with a desperate need for and a dependence upon water and rain," Pfeifer said. "Let's try something different, join together as one, and humbly ask God for this gift."

Diocese of San Angelo

Odessa American