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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 14 December, 2018
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Priests visit shopping centre to hear confessions

Priests have been inspired by Pope Francis to reach out to people in new ways.

Fr Tom Ryan (left), pictured with Skycourt manager Pat Kelly, Canon Brendan  O’Donoghue and Fr Arnold Rosney.
Fr Tom Ryan (left), pictured with Skycourt manager Pat Kelly, Canon Brendan O’Donoghue and Fr Arnold Rosney.
Image: c/o Fr Tom Ryan

TWENTY PRIESTS ARE going to be available to hear confession at the SkyCourt Shopping Centre in Co Clare on 8 December.

Shannon parish priest Fr Tom Ryan told TheJournal.ie that the Mercy on the Mall initiative is to mark the opening of the Year of Mercy.

Fr Ryan said he was inspired by Pope Francis’ call for priests to “go to marketplace and proclaim the story of god”.

He said he has organised for 20 priests to be available at various locations throughout the shopping centre from 1-6pm on 8 December for “a confession, a chat, a blessing or a prayer”.

Fr Ryan said that if the event is successful it could be repeated throughout the country.

Pope Francis tells us get up and go out and meet the people where they’re at.

Fr Ryan noted that the Year of Mercy coincides with the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of the second Vatican Council, which encouraged priests to reach out to people in new ways, adding:

“The church doesn’t move very fast with anything … this could be a new way of preaching the gospel.”

SkyCourt manager Pat Kelly told the Irish Catholic he was very keen to facilitate the idea.

“It gives Christmas shoppers an opportunity to do their shopping under one roof and avail of the opportunity to meet with a priest and have a chat in a neutral environment where they are comfortable,” he said.

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Órla Ryan

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