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Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Four Irish deacons ordained in Rome
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¬†Four Irishmen were ordained deacons in Rome on Easter Monday. The ordination, organised by the Pontifical Irish College, was celebrated by Bishop Colm O'Reilly (Ardagh and Clonmacnois) in the Church of Sant' Alfonso. Those ordained were John Mockler (Limerick), Padraig Kelliher (Ardagh and Clonmacnois), John Hogan (Meath) and Liam Kelly OFM. The ordination was attended by the parents, family members and friends of the new deacons together with Fr Ulic Troy OFM, Minister Provincial of the Irish Franciscans and Monsignor Liam Bergin, Rector of the Pontifical Irish College. The group will be received in audience by Pope John Paul II today. In his homily, at the ordination, Bishop Colm O'Reilly said: "The first deacons were chosen in response to the Church's first crisis. It was brought to the attention of the Apostles that an important part of Christ's mandate was not being fulfilled. The needs of some of the new followers of Christ were being neglected. The response of the Apostles has something to teach the Church in our time. They produced a plan for the recruitment of new helpers and presented it to the whole group of believers. They responded approvingly, took up the idea and elected seven deacons. Can Church leadership respond to present difficulties and open up new opportunities to respond to present needs? The Acts of the Apostles shows the first deacons in an administrative role. Those who are in ministry today must also serve the Church by their administration. Much of their work is routine. But never dismiss what is routine ≠ and even dull ≠ as therefore of little worth. People who are served by faithful pastors who do the routine work of the Church in their parishes are generous in their praise of that loyalty. The deacons appointed by the apostles were, of course, more than administrators. Stephen, the first named of the seven, was soon in trouble for his forthright preaching of the word. It was for this that he was martyred. Laurence, the most famous deacon of the Roman Church, is portrayed in murals with symbols of his martyrdom and his preaching, the grid iron and the Book of the Gospels. St. Francis of Assisi who remained a deacon until his death, told his friars to preach using words when necessary! The deacons being ordained today will need to be good preachers in word, but also as the rite of ordination reminds them, by being in every way true heralds of the word: "Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practise what you teach." Source: Irish Catholic Media Office
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