Man asks Derry Bishop to pray for him to “get off the drink”

Bishop of Derry Rev. Donal McKeown uses his crozier to open the door at the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy Mass at St Eugene's Cathedral on Sunday.

Bishop of Derry Rev. Donal McKeown uses his crozier to open the door at the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy Mass at St Eugene's Cathedral on Sunday.

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Derry’s Bishop, Dr. Donal McKeown has revealed how five local men he met on the streets of Derry asked him to pray for their mothers and help to get them to get off the drink.

Speaking at the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy Mass in St. Eugene’s Cathedral on Sunday, Dr. McKeown revealed how last Tuesday he and another priest were walking in the city centre when they met five young men who each “gave every impression of having struggles in their lives.”

He said: “What did they ask for? Money? No. Rather to ‘pray for my mammy, she died a couple of weeks ago’ and another one asked for prayer that he could get off the drink.

“And so in the middle of a city centre footpath, we formed a circle and prayed together. The world is full of people, crying out for healing in their lives.

“They want to meet mercy and hope, not condemnation and scorn. And many of them have not found mercy every time they turned to people who say they have faith.”

Bishop McKeown was speaking after he officially opened the door on the Catholic Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy with a special service in the Cathedral on Sunday morning.

The day began with the bishop joining the congregation in the neighbouring Church of Ireland’s Christ Church for a Service before using his crozier to open the door at the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy Mass at St Eugene’s .

“The Year of Mercy gives us a great opportunity to remember death and battle with sadness, silence and forgiveness rather than with a vainglorious abuse of the past in the service of subliminal modern battles. The question is not ‘will He come?’ but rather ‘will we let Him in through the door of our hearts?”