Bishop Éamonn Walsh ordains two deacons at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome

15 Apr 2009

15 April 2009

Bishop Éamonn Walsh ordains two deacons at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome

Bishop Éamonn Walsh, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Dublin, ordained two deacons in Rome on Easter Monday.  Stephen Kelly, from the Diocese of Meath, and Patrick O’Donohue, from the Diocese of Galway, were ordained in the historic Church of Sant’Agata de’ Goti in the centre of Rome.
Both deacons were joined by their parents, family members and friends for the ordination ceremony.  Stephen is the son of Noel and Helen Kelly from the parish of Kilcloon in Co Meath; Patrick is the son of Pat and Frances O’Donohue from Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare.  The Irish Ambassador to the Holy See, Mr Noel Fahey, also attended the ordination with his wife Ms Christine Fahey.

Providentially Bishop Walsh celebrated this ceremony on the fortieth anniversary of his own ordination to the priesthood in the chapel of the Irish College on 13 April 1969.  In his homily at the ceremony Bishop Walsh reminded the candidates of the privilege and challenge that accompany the call to ministry in contemporary Ireland.  He urged Stephen and Patrick to listen carefully to God’s Word and to seek to communicate its saving message to the people of today.

The Irish College, Rome has been in five different locations in the eternal city since its foundation in 1628.  The College was at the Church of Sant’Agata de’ Goti for ninety years (1836 – 1926).  Monsignor Liam Bergin, rector of the College, remarked that “the celebration of the diaconate ordination in this church was an acknowledgement of a significant part of the history of the College.”  The heart of Daniel O’Connell was first buried in this Church in 1847 to fulfill The Liberator’s final wish that his heart rest in Rome, his body in Ireland and his soul with God.

Notes for Editors

There are three levels of holy orders in the Catholic Church: diaconate, priesthood, and episcopate.  Students for the priesthood are ordained deacons prior to their ordination as priests.  Deacons are ordained to represent Christ the servant sacramentally.  A deacon is called to embody the work of Christ in charity, in the word and at the altar.  There are as many ways of serving: deacons can baptise, witness marriages, bring viaticum to the dying, visit the sick and housebound, assist in sacramental preparation, promote knowledge of the social teaching of the Church, and preside at funerals.  Deacons proclaim the Gospel and may serve as the homilist at Mass.

A photograph of Bishop Walsh and Deacons Stephen Kelly and Patrick O’ Donohue is available from the Catholic Communications Office.
Further information:
Martin Long, Director of Communications 086 172 7678
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer 087 233 7797