News Irish News

Saturday 17 March 2018

Mary O'Sullivan (53) will be the confessions co-ordinator in the Prayer Space. She lives in Blackrock, Co Dublin

'I'm going to be the confessions co-ordinator. Any priest who wants to hear confessions at the Congress, their credentials are checked at bishop level. Anyone who decides to hear on the day, isn't allowed. They wanted somebody who wouldn't fall into deference mode and be swayed by a stroppy cleric and I'm that person.

It started with me not getting involved, because I was keeping it at the end of a large bargepole, probably because of my anger and disgust at the hierarchical church. I also had an ill mother and a daughter doing the Leaving Cert.

I had a good friend who was involved, and I spoke with her. I decided I could keep giving out about the church, or I could get involved.

What changed my mind was the pastoral preparation programme. It wasn't about the hierarchy, it was about putting people in touch with Jesus' wishes. I'm big into Jesus, so I thought it's not good enough if I stay angry and don't help the local church. I decided to put my money where my mouth was.

I'm not hoping to get anything at all out of it. I'm hoping to have addressed my anger and annoyance with the institution and to have a more balanced track history after because I helped and got involved.

My local church is in Foxrock, but I'm not enormously involved. The place I would go on Sunday is the Orlagh Retreat Centre, run by the Augustinians. You go and listen, and engage, and are left in no doubt that Jesus of the Gospel is the focus of your attention."

Irish Independent Supplement

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News