Melbourne, Australia, Jan 5, 2020 / 17:01 pm
As fires throughout parts of Australia continue to worsen, the Archbishop of Melbourne called for prayers and encouraged Catholics to donate to those in need.
"On this first weekend of the New Year, we should be focusing on the joy of families, friends and holidays," said Archbishop Peter Comensoli in a statement this weekend.
"Instead for so many, the beginning of 2020 has already been marked with loss, destruction, separation and deep sadness; and it would seem there is more to come."
Hundreds of fires are raging throughout Australia, the worst fire season in the country's history, according to officials. Bushfires have already scorched 12 million acres of land, more than double the acreage burned in the Amazon earlier this year. At least 19 lives have been claimed by the fires in the last few months.