Bishop Michael Smith to ordain Kevin Heery to the priesthood

04 Oct 2011

Kevin Heery with his mother Mary Heery outside their home at Lynn Heights, Mullingar ahead of his ordination to the priesthood on Sunday 9 October 2011 at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar.

Bishop Michael Smith to ordain Kevin Heery to the priesthood

  • Parish team to organise a Day of Prayer for Renewal, accompanied by a 24 hour fast, in solidarity with those who have suffered in childhood

At 3.00 pm on Sunday 9 October next Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath, will ordain Kevin Heery (28) to the priesthood.  Kevin is a native of Lynn Heights in Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

Speaking before his ordination Deacon Kevin said, “I set out on a journey and sometimes the path was not predictable, it didn’t go where I expected, but with trust in the Lord it has taken me to where I want to be.  That is how I have found my vocation.  What I am looking forward to most is celebrating my First Mass especially with those who have accompanied me on this journey.

“I have received great support – from friends, neighbours, even from people whom I don’t know – as I have been preparing for my ordination.  If this is in an indication of the shared and deep faith that exists in our community then I have great hope for the success of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress which takes place in Dublin in 2012, and for the boost that it will no doubt give to the ongoing renewal of the Church in Ireland.

“I would be really delighted if parishioners could come to the ordination on Sunday at 3.00pm.  It is a beautiful and special ceremony and I would love to share this moment with as many people as possible from my home parish.  At 7.30pm in the Cathedral on the following day, 10 October, I will be offering my first Mass in thanksgiving and for all who have supported me on this great journey,” Kevin said.

During his First Mass the new priest will say give his “First Blessing” which will be a special moment in Kevin’s life.  The First Blessing, given at the altar rails, is available for all individuals and families, especially families with children.  The Cathedral is hosting a reception in the Parish Community Centre afterwards and all are most welcome to the celebration.

Bishop Smith said, “Kevin is a generous and gifted young man and his ordination will be wonderful news for the Diocese of Meath.  Kevin’s ordination is timely as we prepare for the Diocesan Eucharistic Congress, themed ‘Come and See’, which will take place in Navan on 14 – 16 October next.  Our Congress is an important preparatory step ahead of next year’s International Eucharistic Congress and its purpose is the celebration of our faith in the Eucharist and to identify signs of hope for the future.”

Kevin attended St Mary’s Primary and Secondary School (1987-2000).  He entered the seminary in Maynooth in September 2000.  Kevin took a break from his studies in 2005, after which he worked in the financial services in Dublin and later in Sydney.  His travels took him around Australia and South America before returning to the National Seminary, Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth, in 2009.  Kevin is a son of Mary and the late Frank Heery.  He has one brother Anthony; his grandmother Annie Connell lives in Coole, while his extended family hails from Cullion and Coole, Co Westmeath.

Bishop Smith will celebrate the Ordination ceremony at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar.  Also taking part in the ceremony will be priests from the diocese, seven recently ordained priests who are Kevin’s classmates, visitors from Scotland and Slovenia, together with priests who served previously in Mullingar.

Preparing for Kevin Heery’s ordination as a priest, the parish team at the Cathedral has organised a Day of Prayer for Renewal, accompanied by a 24 hour fast, in solidarity with those who have suffered in childhood.  The vigil will take place on 6 – 7 October, marking the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.  Various hours of the 24 prayer and fasting will have a reflection on each one of the mysteries of the Rosary.  Mass will be offered during the night and day, with a candlelight Mass at midnight and a Mass of Hope and Thanksgiving which Bishop Smith will celebrate at the closing of the vigil.  Time will also be dedicated to prayers for vocations and inviting young people to prayer.  Please see programme below:

24 hr Fast and Prayer Vigil, beginning Thursday 6 October 2011

8.00pm           Service of Repentance

9.00pm           Prayer around the cross

10.00pm         Annunciation – Bringing Good News

11.00pm         Night Prayer

12.00am         Candlelight Mass of Healing

1.00am           Visitation – Reaching out to others

2.00am           Nativity – Christ born in humility

3.00am           Presentation in Temple – Coming to Church to pray

4.00am           Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple – Cherishing children

5.00am           Agony in the Garden – Prayer for all who struggle with life

6.00am           Scourging at the Pillar – For those persecuted for the faith

7.00am           Crowning with Thorns – For victims of injustice and oppression

7.450am         Dawn Mass for Forgiveness

9.00am           Carrying the Cross – For all who are heavily burdened

10.00am         Mass for all Survivors of Abuse

11.00am         Crucifixion – Remembering the dead

12.00pm         Angelus and Resurrection – Signs of new hope

1.00pm           Ascension – Looking forward to the future

2.00pm           Descent of the Holy Spirit – Invocation of the Holy Spirit

3.00pm           Chaplet of Divine Mercy

4.00pm           Assumption – Mary Mother of Hope

5.00pm           Coronation – Our Lady Queen of Peace

6.00pm           Angelus & Prayer for Vocations

7.00pm           Prayer for Young People

7.30pm           Mass of Hope and Thanksgiving


Notes for Editors

  • Bishop Michael Smith is the Bishop of Meath and the Cathedral of Christ the King is in Mullingar, Co Westmeath.  The Diocese of Meath has 107 priests in active ministry along with eight seminarians studying for the priesthood.  The diocese includes the greater portion of the counties of Meath, Westmeath and Offaly and a portion of counties Longford, Dublin and Cavan.  The Patron Saint of the Diocese of Meath is Saint Finian (Feast day 12 December).
  • A photograph of Deacon Kevin Heery is available from the Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth.
  •  The 50th International Eucharistic Congress takes place in Dublin on 10 – 17 June 2012.  Please see for further details.
  • The Priests of Tullamore held a 24 hour fast for repentance and renewal on 25 and 26 August of this year.

Further information:

Catholic Communications Office Maynooth 00 353 1 5053019; Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444