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Seven Deacons Ordained in Carlow Cathedral

Rev. David and Mrs Maria O'FlahertySeven Permanent Deacons have been ordained in the Cathedral for service in the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. The historic ceremony took place on Sunday 13th October 2013. Among the Deacons ordained was David O’Flaherty from our Cathedral Parish. Congratulations to David on this historic occasion and every good wish to his wife Maria and children. We wish David every blessing in the Diaconate Ministry.

In the Roman Catholic Church there are three ministries of clergy; Bishop (Episcopate), Priest (Presbyterate) and Deacon (Diaconate). Most of us are familiar with a Bishop or Priest, however many are not familiar with the ministry of Deacon. There are two types of Deacon; the first is known as the Transitional Diaconate, this is where a man is ordained a Deacon on the way to becoming a priest. It normally takes place about a year before his ordination to the priesthood. The second form of diaconate is the The second form of diaconate is the Permanent Diaconate, where a man is ordained Deacon and remains so for the rest of his life. This latter form of diaconate is open to married men. The Ministry of Deacon was common in the early Church, but throughout the centuries it became less common. Pope Paul VI “reintroduced” the Permanent Diaconate and it became common again in parts of the world such as the USA and Britain.

Diaconate Ceremony - Ordination of Seven Deacons at Carlow Cathedral

What does a deacon do?

The word deacon comes from the Greek “diakonos,” meaning “servant.” This captures the essence of what the ministry of a deacon is about. The presence of the diaconate ministry is a reminder to the rest of us of the importance of service in the life of the Church. This is first and foremost the role of the deacon. A deacon can live out that service in many ways, using his gifts and talents to serve the needs of the Church community. The most visible way is in the liturgy of the Church. The deacon assists at Mass, he may preach on occasions, he can baptise, witness at a marriage ceremony and conduct a funeral reception. He cannot celebrate Mass, hear confessions or anoint the sick. In recent years the Irish bishops applied to Rome to seek permission for the introduction of the Permanent Diaconate into Ireland. This was approved and some dioceses, including our own, went about seeking candidates. Seven men applied for the diaconate in our diocese. A formation course was followed by these candidates over a four year period. The seven deacons will minister in their respective parishes.

Diaconate Ceremony Carlow 13th Oct 2013

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