Twenty-seven year old Daniel Gallagher from Cooks Terrace, Bohermore was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Martin Drennan, Bishop of Galway, at a ceremony in Saint Patrick’s Church in the centre of Galway City on Sunday 17 July. It was the first time that an ordination to the priesthood has been celebrated in this church.
Daniel was born and grew up in Bohermore, attending both Saint Patrick’s Primary School and Moneenageisha College before graduating from NUI, Galway with an honours degree in Irish and History.
Having applied to study for the priesthood for his home diocese Daniel was sent firstly to Maynooth and subsequently to the Irish College in Rome before returning to join the Oranmore Parish Team for a final year of practical and pastoral preparation before his ordination.
Daniel was surrounded by family and friends for his ordination including his parents Patricia and Alan, his siblings Sarah, Rachel and James and three of his grandparents.
Father Diarmuid Hogan, the Parish Priest of Oranmore, has welcomed Daniel’s ordination saying, “Daniel is an exceptionally gifted and generous young man. He has the ability to bring joy and gladness to individuals and groups and his humour, energy, passion and faith have touched many people in his time with us in Oranmore. We will miss him when he is gone.”
In his homily at the ordination Mass, Bishop Martin Drennan said, “Today we say thanks for the gift of ordination to the priesthood, a gift for Daniel, for his family, for the diocese and for the Church. To be chosen is always a privilege. To be chosen by God is a wonderful blessing. Gift is task. To live out the gift of ordination is to live a life that raises questions. Why a life of obedience, why celibacy ? Ordination is a call to turn your back on ways of life that focus on possessions, on fashion, on style, on power. Fidelity to Christ is be the measure and motivation of your words and actions. It is your privilege to lead people to God and be a channel of God’s blessings for them.
“In a world groaning for hope we are all called to continue the mission of Jesus by being merciful as the Father is merciful. The world needs the reality of mercy and forgiveness, the message of compassion and peace. Every priest is challenged in a particular way to be a bearer of these gifts and be a beacon of hope for the world. It can be a great time to be a priest.”
Newly-ordained Father Daniel offered some words of thanks during the ceremony. He said, “On this the occasion of my ordination to the priesthood my heart is filled with gratitude and joy. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my father Alan, my mother Patricia, my sisters Sarah and Rachel and my brother James. I would like to thank in a special way Bishop Martin Drennan for accepting me as a student for the Diocese in the summer of 2010; for his support during my years in seminary and for ordaining me as a priest. I acknowledge and appreciate the support and friendship of Father Pat Whelan PP here at Saint Patrick’s. I wish to thank Father Ian O’Neill, our Vocations Director who was MC at the ordination today, Father Diarmuid Hogan PP Oranmore where I ministered as a deacon for the past year and indeed all the priests from both within and outside the diocese who accompanied me on my journey to date.
“I am grateful to all those who helped me develop my faith, from my earliest teachers in Scoil An Linbh Íosa, Saint Patrick’ National School and Galway Community College to NUI, Galway and NUI, Maynooth. I am grateful too to my seminary formators and spiritual directors in both Maynooth and at the Irish College in Rome.”
Daniel was the third priest to be ordained for the diocese this year. Father Michael King from Renmore and Father John O’Halloran from Killanin were ordained in January.
Father Daniel’s first Mass of Thanksgiving took place in Saint Patrick’s Church, Galway on Monday 18 July. The newly ordained priest will await his first appointment from Bishop Drennan in early August. At the end of July he will lead a group of young people from Oranmore to participate in World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.