On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8th December 2020, Bishop Kevin Doran ordained John Mahony for the priesthood in the Diocese of Elphin in Sligo Cathedral.
Fr John Mahony became the first priest to be ordained in the Diocese of Elphin for 12 years in a ceremony performed by Bishop Kevin Doran in Sligo Cathedral last week. Fr Mahony, who’s originally from Dublin set out on his vocational journey in 1976 having joined the St Patrick’s Missionary Society, Kiltegan, Ordained a Deacon in 1982, John then ministered in England and Malawi. On his return home he was to find other issues taking precedence in his life. Responding to family needs, John took time out of ministry and undertook further studies in ecumenical theology. He spent some years working in educational administration.
In 2017, John returned to active ministry in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Wanting to return home and to continue on the road to priesthood, John was referred to the Diocese of Elphin which has significant links with the Kiltegan Missionaries.
Prior to ordination John ministered as a deacon in St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish, Sligo and in Ballintubber-Ballymoe on the Galway Roscommon border. He recently completed the training as an Accord Facilitator and, in addition to his parish responsibilities will be supporting pre-marriage preparation in the Diocese.
In his ordination, Bishop Kevin Doran concluded his homily saying:
In a few moments time, John will be questioned about his willingness to take on the responsibilities associated with being a priest. He will answer, “I am; I am; I am; and finally I am with the help of God”. It is another way of saying: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your Word”. I think the bit about “the help of God” is important. When Mary asked “how can this be possible”, the Angel replied: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you”. None of us can be what God calls us to be without God’s help and that is a lesson I have had to learn over and over. So I encourage you John to trust in the Holy Spirit and to allow space for the Spirit to work in you. Trust also in the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given to others in the community. We priests don’t have all the gifts or all the answers.