BY Ryan McDougall | September 14 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Mercy bus gets backing from MSPs

Members of the Scottish parliament welcomed a ‘Church on wheels’ to parliament as it brought the mercy of Jesus to the often unforgiving world of politics.

MEMBERS of the Scottish parliament welcomed a ‘Church on wheels’ to parliament as it brought the mercy of Jesus to the often unforgiving world of politics.

Bishop John Keenan of Paisley Diocese and Helen Border, a main organiser for the group, led Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland to Holyrood, where they were warmly welcomed by politicians from the SNP, Scottish Labour, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Conservatives.

And the visit has been so successful the peripatetic Catholics have been invited back next year.

Roseanna Cunningham, the SNP cabinet secretary for environment, climate change and land reform, who sponsored the Mercy Bus’ visit, said the event was a ‘huge success.’

“There was a steady stream of MSPs visiting—although I have to acknowledge that the queue for Confession wasn’t quite so big! Maybe next time,” she joked.

“I was delighted to be able to help facilitate the visit and want to say a huge ‘well done’ to all involved—and specially those who made the profiteroles.”

The positive impact of the church on wheels was clear across Scotland’s political spectrum.

Monica Lennon, Labour MSP for Central Scotland, said it was ‘lovely’ to have met both Bishop Keenan and the Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland.

“The Mercy Bus is a great example of community outreach by the Catholic Church, open to people of all faiths and none,” she said.

Ms Border said the Mercy Bus was ‘a great opportunity for the Catholic Church to show the love and Mercy of Christ to the people who represent our towns and cities at the Scottish Parliament.’

“I was overwhelmed by the warm welcome we received from the MSPs, especially Roseanna Cunningham who sponsored our visit,” she said.

“I gave a short presentation to the MSPs on the work of the Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland (FODMS) and how the Mercy Bus was for all people, those of faith and none, and they all asked questions.

“Several MSPs asked us to come to their constituencies and other MSPs and parliamentary staff took the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation from Bishop Keenan.”

“We have been invited back next year which is very encouraging.”

Ms Border credited Sir Brian Souter, the founder of Stagecoach, for allowing them to use one of his company’s buses for the chain of Divine Mercy excursions.

She also commented on one particular woman who came on board the Mercy Bus.

“She had left the Church when her partner died and was very lonely,” she said.

“When she left the bus she said, ‘my best friend goes to Mass every Sunday and I am going to join her and come back to church.’

“For this one person coming back to the Lord and feeling his mercy through our friendship and hospitality to me made was the icing on the cake after a very successful visit.”

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