Two Irish seminarians at the Pontifical College in Rome have been ordained as deacons this Easter Tuesday, after serving for Pope Francis at the Easter Vigil in St Peter’s Basilica.
Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry ordained the two young men, students of the Pontifical Irish College Rome, as deacons for service in the Diocese of Derry and the Archdiocese of Dublin. Rev. Malachy Gallagher (32) from Coleraine, Co. Derry and Rev. Bill O’Shaughnessy (28) from Castledermot, Co. Kildare were joined for the celebration by their fellow seminarians from the Pontifical Irish College as well as a large group of family and friends who travelled from Ireland.
In his homily, Bishop McKeown encouraged the two young men “not to be afraid to accompany their contemporaries on their journeys. Have a divine patience and love for those to whom you will be sent to proclaim the Resurrection. Learn how to speak of the hope that is in Jesus Christ”.
The Bishop urged the two deacons “to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches – and especially to the churches of Dublin and Derry. The uncomfortable word of God that calls us to repent has to be heard by us before we can ask others to repent and be baptised. The temptation for the Church in modern Ireland is to retreat behind ramparts of self-righteousness and fear. That is where many would like us to be, roaring from behind the walls but talking only to ourselves. The Irish Church is being renewed, not so much to fit in with contemporary culture as to stand out from it.”
Following the uplifting ceremony, the Rector of the Pontifical Irish College, Mgr Ciarán O’Carroll commented “‘It is with great joy that we celebrate the ordination to the diaconate today of two seminarians from the Pontifical Irish College in Rome. On behalf of everyone at the Pontifical Irish College I congratulate Bill and Malachy on their ordination. I wish them every happiness and blessing as they commence their diaconal ministries of service and charity, of leadership in prayer and liturgy, and of witness and proclamation of the Gospel message, during this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy’.
The Pontifical Irish College in Rome was founded in 1628 and has been educating candidates for the priesthood for ministry in the twenty-six Irish dioceses for almost four hundred years. Currently, there are twelve seminarians from Irish dioceses in formation at the College.