Door of Mercy in Swansea’s oldest church and the Lampedusa Cross

Canon Flook with parishioner from St David's Priory

The oldest Roman Catholic Church in Swansea is also one of the designated Holy Doors of Mercy in Menevia.

And we are delighted to announce that St David’s Priory has been hosting a Lampedusa Cross since Thursday 29 September where it is due to remain until Monday 10 October.

Canon Michael Flook, V.F. and his parish community invited CAFOD’s Community Participation Co-ordinator in Menevia, Therese Warwick, to give a presentation around the Year of Mercy.


When Pope Francis announced the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in St Peter’s Basilica, he spoke of one journey and two people travelling “the way of mercy” (cf: Luke 7:36-50): one who walked the whole way and encountered mercy; the other who stopped at the threshold and could not find the way to mercy.

Pope Francis knows the journey to mercy.  He has said: “This is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned His merciful gaze.”

We considered what Pope Francis’ Papal motto means and why he chose it.  And reflected on the wonderful parable of the Prodigal Son before turning to the Lampedusa Cross and its link to the Corporal Work of Mercy: “to welcome the stranger” which in the light of the current migration crisis is even more powerful.


“Biblical revelation urges us to welcome the stranger; it tells us that in so doing, we open our doors to God, and that in the faces of others we see the face of Christ himself.”


Pope Francis’ message on the

World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 2016

We followed Canon Flook from the parish room into the Priory, by candelight, to place the Lampedusa Cross near the altar and where he lead us all in a poignant prayer reflection.

Reflecting on the plight of refugees in Lampedusa

Reflecting on the plight of refugees in Lampedusa

Prayer cards are available for parishioners and visitors to write their own personal message of solidarity for people who are forced to leave their homes and travel far from home because of war, poverty or persecution.

When you enter a designated Door of Mercy, you can obtain a special Jubilee Indulgence if you fulfil certain conditions.

Pope Francis invites each of us to perform one or more of the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy as a way to “reawaken our conscience.”

If you are interested in the Lampedusa Cross and Year of Mercy display coming to your parish, please get in touch.

There are many resources available to parishes on the Year of Mercy, including a moving Pilgrimage on the refugee crisis with leader’s notes.

St David’s Priory Church was orginally built in 1847 by Fr Charles Kavanagh according to designs by Charles Hansom.

It replaced an earlier church building from around 1808.   In 1864 it was renovated and extended by Benjamin Bucknall and a new presbytery was also built.

Most of the parishioners came from the Greenhill area and it became essential to build a church there and in 1866 St. Joseph’s church opened.

In 1873 the parish was taken over by the monastic Order of Saint Benedict and St. David’s Church was elevated to a Missionary Priory.

In 1907 it underwent further renovations.  It is a Grade II listed building.

I would recommend visiting St David’s – it boasts a wonderful central location and there is ample parking nearby.


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