Parishioners in one Mayo parish can now redeem their sins through two Hail Marys and a walk around the block.
One Irish priest is taking his task of overseeing the redemption of his parish one step further in 2016 by actively seeking to save their bodies as well as their souls.
Yes, Father Kenny from Tourmakeady in Co. Mayo has embraced the “New Year, New Me” mantra with the help of hit RTÉ show Operation Transformation and is encouraging his parishioners to confess their holiday season over-eating sins and try and do better in the future.
“In the confession box now it’s two Hail Marys and walk around the block,” joked one mass attendee.
With Fr. Kenny keeping a strict eye on all those who step through his church doors, there’s no place to hide: “You think Fr. Kenny can pop up anywhere so no place is safe.”
A strong advocate of practicing what you preach, the “super priest” is always on the go and sets a great example for those struggling to lose those extra pounds in January, even if comes at the expense of a nice long Sunday mass.
“Usually, my car has a roof rack and a surfboard, a paddle board or a bike on top and when they see that they know mass is going to be fairly short today,” he said.
“We pray together, we weigh together, hopefully we’ll be weighing less by the end of this program and that we’ll be ready for the Easter eggs but not too many.”
The parish is currently taking part in the Million Pound Challenge organized by RTÉ show Operation Transformation. Since 2008, Ireland has been taken over by the show each January as communities rally together to remain fit and active through the winter months.
Each year, five weight-loss leaders are chosen and diet plans and fitness regimes are made available to the public so they can pick the leader whose weight-loss requirements best suits their own needs and follow the same plan.
Through a weekly TV show catch-up, regular radio check-ins, a website full of videos, shopping lists and advice, and the many events organized around the country, Irish roads are taken over by power-walkers, joggers and runners helping each other lead a healthier lifestyle.
This year the show is running the Million Pound Challenge which aims to help all participants lose a million pounds in eight weeks. It’s already off to a flying start with 29,312 lbs lost only two weeks into the program.
Tourmakeady has also had some great success with thanks to Fr. Kenny and managed to lose a remarkable 140 lbs (63.50 kg) in the first week. That’s almost ten stone!
And there is nothing stopping you from taking part from whatever country you may be reading from. For more information on the program or to view the diet plans you can visit: http://www.rte.ie/ot/.