Newly ordained Fr Bill O’Shaughnessy (left) and Fr James Daly (right) stand beside Archbishop Martin following their ordination on 14th November 2017. Pic by John McElroy

On Tuesday 14th November, in a joy filled ceremony at the Pro Cathedral, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, yesterday ordained two priests for the Archdiocese of Dublin – Bill O’Shaughnessy and James Daly.  The ordinations took place on the feast of  Saint Laurence O’Toole, Principal Patron of the Diocese. By a happy coincidence Bill O’Shaughnessy, hails from Castledermot, Kildare, where the Irish saint was born.

Referring to the changing face of the Church in Ireland, Archbishop Martin said that fifty years ago “the Catholic Church in Ireland played a dominant and at times domineering role in so many aspects of Irish society”. Today, said the Archbishop, “we have to rediscover a faith that integrates our lives as Laurence O’Toole did. We need a faith where theology and prayer, witness and care of the poor belong together and can influence the world around us and make society more loving.”

Concluding his homily, Archbishop Martin admitted that Christian life was not easy but he said belief in Jesus Christ opened the way to a new freedom. “The Christian life is not about blindly following a pre-established rulebook or imposing rules on others. It involves attaining the freedom to renounce prosperity and security for ourselves in order to live for others as Jesus did and then finding joy and fulfilment in living the Gospel.”

Fr Bill O’Shaughnessy comes from Kildare. He studied History and Theology in the Pontifical University Maynooth, and graduated with a BA in Arts in 2009. Two years later he earned a Master’s degree in Dogmatic Theology.  In 2012 he entered the seminary. During his studies he spent a year as deacon in Ballyfermot, St Matthew’s Parish.  He has now been appointed to Springfield and Jobstown Parishes in Tallaght.

Fr James Daly, a native of Cork, worked originally in local government before taking a career break to work in the US  as a Youth Minister under a Franciscan Lay Ministry programme. Returning to Ireland he took up studies in Religious Education in Mater Dei. After graduating in 2007, he worked for a year in Great Britain before returning to work in the Dublin Archdiocese.  In 2013 he entered the Irish College Seminary in Rome and is now currently serving in the parish of Skerries. The men join 380 diocesan and religious priests of the archdiocese.