Apr 28, 2019

Limerick Bishop calls for an end to social exclusion

BISHOP Brendan Leahy has called on the Church and society in general to always work to give hope to those affected by social marginalisation of one aspect or another.

Bishop Kenneth Kearon and Bishop Brendan Leahy on the ecumenical Good Friday procession
Bishop Kenneth Kearon and Bishop Brendan Leahy on the ecumenical Good Friday procession

Speaking after Easter celebrations - including a Good Friday ecumenical procession through the streets of Limerick that took in sites synonymous with social issues - Bishop Leahy said that Easter reminds us of the need to be with the distressed among us, accompanying them at they get their lives back on track

“Easter is a special time, a family time, a time of peace, a time of reflection but also a time of looking ahead, a time of hope.  It’s important to connect with and support those who are down, who have fallen,” he said.

He spoke of the close links the Church has with Cuan Mhuire addiction centre in Bruree.

“A particularly moving moment for me each Easter since I’ve come to Limerick has been the Holy Thursday ceremony with the community of the Cuan Mhuire addiction centre in Bruree. The prayerful engagement of the 130 women and men there as we celebrate Jesus’ example of the washing of the feet is always amazing to witness.”

Bishop Leahy, along with some other members of the Church community, carried a cross through the city to celebrate Easter.

“The purpose of our Way of the Cross procession in Limerick city this year was to connect in some way with those people among us in society in Limerick today.  We wanted them to know we recognise where they are, that we are with them and preach the message of hope to them,” said the Bishop.

“The procession was a powerfully symbolic event. In our own way we wanted to say it’s not the falling that matters but the ability to get up and go on again,” he added.

“Significantly also, we saw people of different ethnicities and nationalities sharing the cross. People of different skin colour, social background, which was a strong message in its own right,” he said.

Bishop Leahy said the procession was also a strong acknowledgement of the ways the Church is reaching out in mission today.

“We know we are called increasingly to become a Church that prioritises social justice, going out to the peripheries as Pope Francis constantly reminds us, speaking out for those on the margins,” he continued.

“That means we are a Church out in community, taking the message of hope and offer of support to the people. We know we cannot be a Church expecting the people to always come to us. And being out in the community is not just for priests, it’s for all who are part of this church. We must work as community for community,” concluded Bishop Leahy.


Source: The Limerick Leader
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