January 30, 2019

Living Water - For All

Editor: One in three of the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP) groups across the world that focussed on degradation of Earth as their MIRP issue, identified Water as their critical concern. Across ISMAPNG, Water was the Earth issue of most concern.

It’s not surprising then that in Australia, Sisters of Mercy have joined their voices to the call for action by communities and individuals around the country in regard to the current crisis facing Australia’s struggling river systems.

Of particular concern is the Murray-Darling river system where up to a million fish, including 100-year-old Murray cod, died on 6-7 January in one of the biggest environmental catastrophes to ever hit the river. This follows the fish kill before Christmas and local people have since reported that a third fish kill occurred overnight on 27 January.

On Saturday, 16 February, Local faith groups, community groups & individuals, in conjunction with local Aboriginal people, will hold a ‘Blessing of the Rivers’ ceremony at 3pm at the meeting  of the rivers, Junction Park, Off Cadell St, Wentworth, NSW.

This action was sparked by South West Victorian farmer, Rob Rowley.

Download and share the flyer

WAYS TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT for this initiative:

  • Participate in the Blessing of the Rivers Ceremony on 16 February
  • Send or bring a small bottle or container of water (preferably no plastic) to the Blessing of the Rivers Ceremony. If sending water, please post to:

Blessing of the Rivers
The Lions Club, Mildura
PO Box 1143
Mildura 3502

Note: Australia Post is supportive and has advised that people can post water in a wine package, available at Australia Post Offices, or in smaller bottles that are well sealed, taped and protectively wrapped in material or cardboard.

  • Send a message of support
  • Share the details of this initiative through your contacts and networks
  • Join with the participants in prayer
Download the prayer here

A copy of the ritual to be used in the 'Blessing of the Rivers' Ceremony. Consider using the ritual or prayer at a place of water significant to you.

Download the ritual here

Messages to:

Adele Howard rsm (ISMAPNG)
Helen Nolen rsm (ISMAPNG)

'Fresh drinking water is an issue of primary importance, since it is indispensable for human life and for supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Sources of fresh water are necessary for health care, agriculture and industry...' (Pope Francis, Laudato Si', #28)

Editor: A report of the Ceremony will be published in Mercy eNews on 20 February (Issue #807). If you decide to attend, send water or to hold a prayer service in support of this initiative, we'd be delighted to receive a photo and short description to include with the report.

Messages to: the Editor

Further Developments:

We can help save the Murray-Darling, Indigenous nations say Murray-Darling basin royal commission report finds gross maladministration

Further Reading:

The Gift of Water. Statement from Catholic Earthcare Australia endorsed by Bishops of the Murray-Darling Basin (2004)
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