By Maeve Lee
A Galway church recorded its highest ever attendance at its “drive-thru” Ash Wednesday blessing facility this year.
St Patrick’s Church in Glenamaddy Co. Galway began their drive-thru Ash Wednesday option for busy parishioners four years ago. However, this year saw hundreds of people utilise the facility.
“This year was the biggest numbers, definitely,” said Father Paddy Mooney who is the Parish Priest.
“We had a queue of cars..at the busy time there would be cars queuing back down the avenue and out onto the street,” he said.
The church began the idea in conjunction with a petition box which allowed people to leave notes on anything they wanted to be prayed for, without having to physically go into the church.
Parishioners of all ages availed of the service; Father Mooney said he blessed children as young as 15-months.
“Mothers with babies..wouldn’t be able to go to mass at night, it’s very handy then, they can just put them into the car in a carry-cot or whatever beside them and drive up and get the ashes, and then I’ll go down and give the baby a little blessing,” said the priest.
The drive-thru Ash Wednesday has proved to be extremely popular in the Glenamaddy area and is something which the church hopes to facilitate every year.