By Sean Ryan - 19 March, 2016
Priests from a Co Kerry parish are planning a novel way of spreading the Gospel this weekend.
The clergy of St John’s parish in Tralee plan to spend six hours on two separate days meeting, praying with and chatting with the public at their event themed ‘Mercy in the Square, Mercy in Manor’.
The event commences today Saturday 19 March when four priests will be present in the Square in Tralee from 1-4pm and continues on Sunday 20 March in the Manor West Shopping Centre on the outskirts of the town.
Speaking to Kerry’s Eye newspaper, Norma Foley of Tralee Pastoral Council, said music will also be provided on the day.
Speaking about the structure of the event she said, “There will be four priests there at different times during the day. They will be there for the people of Tralee and visitors for a blessing, confession, prayer or a chat.”
She added, “It is St John’s parish offering the public a chance to connect with them. It’s a new way of being with the community, a new initiative organised by the parish council that we hope will be received positively.”
“It is the Year of Mercy and there will be a lot more events throughout the year in Tralee”, she said.
The event in Tralee is similar to an event on 15 December last when sixteen priests heard confessions at the Skycourt Shopping Centre in Shannon in Co Clare.
Speaking about the event at the time, Shannon’s parish priest Fr Tom Ryan said that the initiative “was in response to Pope Francis’ call to priests to go out to the market place and proclaim the Gospel”.
“There are shopping centres in every large town in the country. There is no reason why they couldn’t do the same,” he said.
“The Year of Mercy is the opportunity to do that. I think if the initiative is of benefit to just one person the day will have been worthwhile,” he said.