The Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland (FODMS) are taking the Mercy Bus back out on the road for the third year this summer thanks to an overwhelming response in the past two years.
To date they have touched over 2,000 people on the streets of Scotland, over 400 people have boarded the Mercy Bus and over 2,000 Miraculous Medals and Divine Mercy Chaplets and many rosaries were given to the people the team met on the streets of Scotland.
This year, the bus began its visits today with a stop off at Johnstone and will continue its journey tomorrow in Coatbridge, Wednesday in Greenock, Thursday in Cumbernauld, Friday in Glasgow and Saturday in Paisley. Mass will be celebrated by the Bishop of Paisley, John Keenan, on board the bus on Saturday at 2pm in Paisley town centre.
Organiser Helen Border said: “Pope Francis has urged the Church to ‘leave her four walls behind and to go out in search of those who are distant, those essentially on the outskirts of life.’ We are taking up Pope Francis’s invitation in taking the Church to the people. Everyone is welcome to come along and visit our ‘Church on wheels!
“Taking the Church to the people shows them that the Lord loves, cares and wants them to return to him. People think that they cannot be forgiven for what they have done. No sin is too great for the Lord to forgive as long as there is repentance from the sinner. Stepping on board the bus could be the first step in changing their lives for the better and leaving the guilt on the bus. There will be priests hearing confessions on the top deck of the ‘Mercy Bus’ and the FODMS team will be welcoming visitors with tea, coffee and home baking.”
Commenting on the initiative, Bishop Keenan said: “Up and down the UK the Mercy Bus has been a great initiative of the New Evangelisation Pope John Paul II hoped for. Its presence in the heart of town centres is welcomed by shoppers and workers of all faiths and none, as a joyful and hopeful presence of God in their midst. They see the Church coming to be among them with the Good News of God’s mercy very close at hand, so they can reach out and touch it, or simply rejoice in its nearness.
Bishop Keenan added: “The Mercy Bus works because so many lay men and women reach out to shoppers in the environment of the Bus and invite them to go in to chat with the priests inside or receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So, the Mercy Bus is a sign of the essence of the Church where lay faithful go out to their peers to welcome into the pastoral care of priests who teach and heal.”
Picture: All aboard the Mercy Bus. (SCMO).