The New Zealand Catholic Bishops convey their deepest sympathies to the families, friends and loved ones of the men who lost their lives at the Pike River coal mine.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those grieving as a result of the tragedy at Pike River. We pray that God will ease the burdens felt by those who have been anxiously awaiting the outcome of the rescue efforts, bring them comfort as they mourn, and strength as they come to terms with their loss.
Since the first explosion at the mine last Friday and through two subsequent blasts which no one could have survived, we have seen members of the Greymouth community supporting each other through an extremely difficult time. Great support has also been shown by people in other parts of the country and overseas expressing their solidarity with those affected. We pray that this support will continue and those suffering will know they are not alone in their pain and grief.
We ask all people in New Zealand to keep these people in their hearts and prayers and offer whatever support is needed to help the families through this difficult time.
We pray for those who died. May we continue to honour their lives and the gift they were to their families and the community. May they rest in peace.