On Friday 11th & Saturday 12th March 2016, St Gerard's hosted its second All-Night Vigil for the Year of Mercy.
The Vigil begin with Holy Mass at 8.00pm on Friday evening, celebrated by Father Kevin McGoldrick, Father Bobby Kane, Father James Travers & Father Bernard Zulu. During the Mass, Father Kane, who is Parish Priest of St Teresa's Newarthill and a Missionary of Mercy, gave a very powerful and encouraging homily on the theme of mercy.
At the end of Mass, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed on the Altar and the Priests were available to celebrate the Sacrament of Confession. Fr Kane encouraged everyone to be wrapped in a blanket after Confession, a symbol of the blanket of mercy that Pope Francis recently spoke about.
Each hour during the night the Holy Rosary was prayed for a particular intention. Each Rosary was led by a different parishioner or representative of a parish group including the Caritas Pupils, Divine Mercy Group, Care Group, Union of Catholic Mothers, Legion of Mary, Sisters of St Peter Claver and Society of St Vincent de Paul.
At 10.30pm, Night Prayer of the Church was prayed and at Midnight the hourly Rosary was replaced by Stations of the Cross which were specially prepared for the Jubilee Year and each station focused on God's mercy.
The Vigil attracted a great number of people throughout the 12 hours with over 25 people, of all ages, staying all night and there were never less than around 30 people in the Church.
On Saturday morning, Morning Prayer of the Church was prayed at 6.30am before Holy Mass was offered to close the Vigil at 8.00am.
The Vigil proved to be another fantastic success and was a very spiritual and prayerful experience for all who attended.