Bishop William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne, has ordained nine seminarians as deacons in the College Chapel of the national seminary in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Bishop Crean was the chief celebrant and preached the homily, and all of the priests of the College community concelebrated this the Ordination Mass on Sunday 29 May. Family, friends and other priests also participated in this special celebration. The following are the ordinands from the diaconate ceremony (respective diocese in brackets):
Michael Byrne (Dublin)
William Caulfield (Ferns)
Aidan Gallagher (Tuam)
Sean Jones (Kerry)
Declan Lohan (Galway)
John Magner (Cloyne)
Barry Matthews (Armagh)
Evan O’Brien (Cork & Ross)
David Vard (Kildare & Leighlin)
Following the Mass, Monsignor Hugh Connolly, the President of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, said, “It is with great joy that we celebrate the ordination of nine men to the diaconate today – and especially so on the Feast of Corpus Christi. May these nine men now go forth to build up the ‘Body of Christ’ which is his Church. On behalf of all of us here in the formation and learning community which is Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth, I congratulate our nine ordinands and wish them every happiness and blessing in their forthcoming diaconal ministry. May each of them experience God’s grace anew in their lives so that they will courageously proclaim the Gospel in word and deed, and go out to serve the people of God in their various dioceses and religious congregations with care and compassion.”
The diaconate is the first of three ranks in ordained ministry in the Catholic Church. It is a ministry of service which is referenced in the New Testament. Whilst there is only one diaconate, deacons preparing for the priesthood are transitional deacons. Those not to be ordained priests are called permanent deacons. The nine men ordained in Maynooth are all transitional deacons who will exercise the diaconal ministry for approximately one year before being ordained to the priesthood.
At present there are 55 resident seminarians studying in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, and there are an additional twenty who attend on a daily basis to pursue their studies for the priesthood. Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth has been forming men for the priesthood since 1795. The Trustees of the College are the Governing Body of the College. The membership is defined by successive Acts of Parliament. The current Trustees are the four Archbishops of Ireland together with thirteen other senior bishops. The College comprises the seminary and the Pontifical University, which offers degrees in theology, philosophy and theology and arts.