Catholics pray to protect St. Kitts and Nevis during hurricane season
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (CUOPM) – Parish priest at the Immaculate Conception Co-Cathedral, Fr. Vincente Gonzalez on Sunday led parishioners in special prayers for a safe hurricane season.
Following morning mass a procession with the Blessed Sacrament went from the Church to the nearby Independence Square.
The procession led by parishioners carrying candles and the Cross and including flower girls, incense, the choir and musicians as well as the Eucharistic Ministers – the Prayer Group and Catechists stopped in the square at the fountain.
“As we enter upon a time of vigilance and preparedness with the beginning of the annual hurricane season, let us humbly bring our prayers to God, the Lord of the winds and the rains, the Lord of good season and bad, the Lord of blessing and hope, that he might bless us with his mighty power and protect us in our ways.
“Lord of the Universe and the four winds, hear our petitions and supplications on this day. In you alone is our salvation. In you alone do we find our lives safe. As once you were the guide and protection of your people Israel in pillars of wind and fire, so also guide and protect us, your people today, and keep us in safety and peace all our days; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit, belong all honour and glory now and forever,” said Fr. Vincente.
“May the Lord protect St. Kitts and Nevis and all the Caribbean Islands from the onslaught of hurricanes and storms this season,” he prayed.
Following the blessing of the monstrance (Blessed Sacrament), the procession returned to the Church.
U.S. forecasters predicted that this year's Atlantic hurricane season would produce a normal number of about nine to 15 tropical storms.
As many as four to eight of those storms could strengthen into hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's initial outlook for the six-month storm season that officially began June 1. One to three of those could become major hurricanes with top winds of 111 mph or higher.
The weather phenomenon known as El Nino, which warms Pacific waters near the equator and increases wind shear over the Atlantic, may develop by the late summer or early fall and help suppress storm development, forecasters said.
This season got an early start with Tropical Storms Alberto and Beryl.