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After a Dry 2013, California Bishops Offer Prayers for Rain

The California Catholic Conference of Bishops posted a plea for rain on the Sacramento-based group's website along with sample prayers.

Lake Perris, a key reservoir in dry Riverside County. Photo courtesy California Department of Water Resources.
Lake Perris, a key reservoir in dry Riverside County. Photo courtesy California Department of Water Resources.
With Los Angeles, Riverside and other parts of Southern California reporting the driest year on record, California's Catholic Bishops are asking their congregations to pray for rain.

"Water is essential to who we are as human beings," said Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento and president of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops. "Our reliance on water reveals how much we are part of creation and creation is a part of us."

The bishops conference posted the plea for rain on its website Monday.

Last year the city of Riverside recorded its driest year since record-keeping began in 1893, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Instruments at Riverside Municipal Airport measured only 3.36 inches from Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2013.

Instruments for downtown Los Angeles/USC measured 3.6 inches for 2013, setting a new record for the driest calendar year in L.A. since locals began collecting data in 1877.

The bishops offer a variety of prayers on their website, including one for the public officials who manage the California's water and snowpack resources:

"May they be granted the wisdom and strength to balance the many needs of people and commerce as we share God’s gift of water among all Californians. For this we pray to the Lord."

The U.S. Drought Monitor currently shows wider swaths of red and brown for California and the West.

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