This week saw the completion of one of our major projects in the Parish for the Year of Mercy.
During the last two Parish assemblies many people had expressed their sorrow, even dismay at the way the Church had and has dealt with different situations and people over the last years. Some commented the sadness they felt that sons, daughters, grandchildren or friends had felt alienated from a church they loved. Others asked for opportunities to reach out in some way to those who don’t come to church.
On Tuesday “The Sounds of Mercy” took place in our Parish Church. It afforded everyone the opportunity to invite someone back to the Church just to hear about the Mercy and to let them know that here in Balally we are aware of them and care for them. And sounds we had; all sorts of sounds: “You Raise me up (with images)”, the Kyrie sung by our choir, “My Son has gone away”, the sound of silence and the trickling of the water in the Baptismal font.
We heard the voices of Parishioners who prayed for victims of abuse, for those rejected because of their lifestyle choices or sexual orientation, for women treated unequally in their own church, for those affected by racism and for the many who have been disappointed. We heard an explanation of the meaning of the Icon of the Year of Mercy, followed by the sound of our own voices as we belted out “Give me joy in my heart”…and then of course we heard the sounds of cups and saucers and tea been poured and cakes been gobbled as hospitality was warmly offered to all in the Pastoral Centre..