A UNIQUE Shannon event last week at which people could have their confession heard while they did their Christmas shopping proved hugely popular.
An annual event pre-Covid, the first Mercy on the Mall event since 2019 took place at the Town Centre on Thursday, December 8 and saw a team of priests make themselves available to hear confessions as people did their shopping.
Parish priest Father Arnold Rosney said it had been a busy day.
“We started the day with a blessing of the crib in front of the Adoration Chapel. It’s a lifesize crib and a lot of people love it, especially kids, who like to go close to it and touch the glass at the front of it. It’s a lovely feature. We had children from St Senan’s school singing festive carols for the blessing.
“Then we had Mercy on the Mall from 1pm to 4pm. We had 12 priests and I’m very grateful to those who joined us, we had four priests per hour for three consecutive hours. We had St Aidan’s school singing carols in the Town Centre.”
There was quite a good level of interaction between the clergy and the shoppers, Father Arnie added.
“The feedback I got from my colleagues was basically that there was a steady flow of people for confessions. We were probably the only parish in the country where this was.
“It’s unfortunate that other places haven’t taken it up as yet, but there is a template there from us and we’d love more places to take it on. It was a lovely opportunity for people to avail of it as they went about their shopping.
“We had great help from Brian O’Leary and the SkyCourt team with the erection of the crib and also assisting us and providing selection boxes for the children and I’m very grateful for that.
We had a huge turnout of parents as well.”
Later that evening, Bishop Fintan Monahan blessed two new shrines at Ss John and Paul Church, one in honour of the Divine Mercy and one in honour of St Joseph.
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.