Article from Catholic Ireland By Sarah Mac Donald – 01 June, 2015

Nine new deacons and 14 ordinations to the priesthood contribute to a “remarkable year” for Maynooth.

Sean O'Donnell,Seamus O'Rourke and Brian Slater lying prostrate during the Ceremony

Sean O’Donnell,Seamus O’Rourke and Brian Slater lying prostrate during the Ceremony

Fourteen ordinations to the priesthood have or will take place in the coming weeks in the Irish Church.

The priestly ordinations and the ordination of nine new deacons have been hailed as contributing to a “remarkable” year for the national seminary.

On Sunday, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin ordained the nine deacons at a Mass in the St Patrick’s College Chapel in Maynooth at a ceremony attended by 500 people.

In a statement following the ceremony, the President of St Patrick’s, Mgr Hugh Connolly, wished the new deacons well as they embarked on their ministry and complete their formation for priesthood.

“The entire formation community in St Patrick’s is truly delighted that the formation and seminary year has culminated in such a joyful and moving celebration,” he said.

“Taken with the fourteen ordinations to priesthood which have or will take place in these next weeks this has really been a remarkable year for our college.”

Mgr Connolly added, “Let us pray too that others inspired by their witness will discern a similar call to service within their hearts and respond with courage and generosity.”

The following new deacons were ordained on Sunday:

Michael King of the Diocese of Galway
Kevin Malcolmson of the Diocese of Clogher
Christopher McDermott of the Diocese of Derry
Conor Magee of the Diocese of Meath
Patrick Nugent of the Diocese of Cork and Ross
John O’Halloran of the Diocese of Galway
James O’Reilly of the Diocese of Down and Connor
Damian Quigley of the Archdiocese of Armagh
Noel Weir of the Diocese of Meath

Ordination as a transitional deacon generally occurs after a seminarian has completed at least three years of study in theology, and takes place one year before priestly ordination.

Transitional deacons exercise the very same ministry as permanent deacons; as such they are now ordinary ministers of Baptism, and are able to preside at weddings, assist the priest at Mass, proclaim the Gospel and preach, as well as preside at wakes and funeral services. In addition to their diaconate assignments the nine will spend the next year completing their formation in Maynooth.