To mark the start of the Year of Mercy, 20 local priests offered Confession, a chat, a blessing or whatever people wanted to visitors to the Skycourt Shopping Centre in Shannon.  Fr Tom Ryan explains…

Mercy on the Mall

For the first time in the history of Skycourt twenty priests made themselves available on Tuesday 8th December, at the beginning of the Year of Mercy, to shoppers and visitors to Skycourt for the sacrament of Confession, a chat, a blessing or whatever people wanted. The reaction was encouraging and positive and all priests were kept engaged for the 5 hours. A number of National media outlets covered the event. People travelled from as far away as Westmeath, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Limerick and all over the county of Clare to experience the first ever Mercy on the Mall.

St Conaire’s School Choir provided musical entertainment and Christmas Carols while the priests heard confessions and chatted with people, Some people who hadn’t celebrated the sacrament in over 50 years did so on the day, for others it was over twenty or twenty five years since they were last at confession. A sincere thanks to the management at Skycourt for all their help and support, to the traders who welcomed everyone with open arms and to the priests who travelled to Shannon to give of their time. A great start to the Year of Mercy!

(photo credit – Susan Gately)