Bishop Denis Nulty to ordain three Permanent Deacons during October

04 Oct 2020

• New ordinations brings to eleven the number of Permanent Deacons ministering in the Diocese is Kildare & Leighlin

This month of October will see the ordination by Bishop Denis Nulty of three candidates to the Permanent Diaconate for the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin. In October 2013 the first Permanent Deacons were ordained for the diocese and now, seven years later, three more will be ordained on different dates, and in different churches, across the diocese.

Vincent Crowley will be ordained today at 3.00pm in the Church of the Holy Rosary, Tullow.  Liam Dunne will be ordained next Sunday, 11 October, in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow, and Eugene Keyes will be ordained on 25 October in Saint Peter & Paul’s Church, Portlaoise.  In light of Covid-19 restrictions there will be three separate ceremonies rather than one large one, as was the case seven years ago.  All ceremonies will adhere to current guidelines as advised by NPHET and public health authorities.

The vocation of deacon in the Church is a specific one.  Deacons “strengthened by sacramental grace they are dedicated to the People of God, in conjunction with the bishop and his body of priests, in the service (diakonia) of the liturgy, of the Gospel and of works of charity” (Lumen Gentium §29).  The ministry of a deacon is therefore threefold: ministry of service to the Word of God, to the Altar and to charity, especially the service of the poor.

The director of the Permanent Diaconate in the diocese is Father Ruairí Ó’Domhnaill PP Newbridge.  Bishop Nulty paid tribute to the commitment of Father Ruairí and his encouragement to all the permanent deacons.  He also thanked the support of their wives and families to the formation process.  Bishop Nulty acknowledged the role of Father Conn Ó’Maoldhomhnaigh, President of Carlow College, Saint Patrick’s, who took responsibility for the programme of study and preparation for ministry undertaken by the three new candidates. These ordinations will bring the number of Permanent Deacons ministering in Kildare & Leighlin to eleven.


Notes for Editors

  • Bishop Denis Nulty is Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin
  • The history of the diaconate (that is, of the ministry of deacons) is traced back to the Acts of the Apostles in the Church’s earliest days, when the Apostles chose seven men to assist in the care of the faithful.  A common feature of ministry in the early Church and the centuries that ensued, the functions of the Permanent Deacon became absorbed by priestly ministry and the Permanent Diaconate ceased to exist.  The Second Vatican Council (1962 – 1965) sought to restore this important ministry of service, the word “deacon” meaning one who serves.  In 2005 the Irish Bishops’ Conference decided to re-introduce the Permanent Diaconate to Ireland and the first deacons were ordained for the Archdiocese of Dublin and for the Diocese of Elphin in 2012.

Permanent deacons have their first responsibility within their own marriages and family lives.  They also continue in their secular employment and are responsible for their own upkeep and the upkeep of their families.  Their ministry is, therefore, restricted in time by those commitments but they remain deacons at all times.  It is the Church’s intention that the two sacraments of Matrimony and Holy Orders would enrich each other in the life of the deacon.  The permanent deacon is to be an effective visible sign of Christ, who came to serve rather than to be served.  Although the permanent deacons will exercise his ministry on a part-time basis, he remains at all times a deacon, and they are called in their lifestyle to reflect this.  The ministry of the deacon is an expression of his being, an icon of Christ the servant.  The normal areas of ministry which may be entrusted to deacons can be categorised under the general headings: Pastoral, Liturgical and Faith Development:


Visiting the sick; Visiting prisoners; Visiting the bereaved; Youth Ministry; Working with the poor and the homeless; Promoting awareness of the social teaching of the Church; Promotion of justice and human rights.


Proclaiming the Gospel at Mass; Preaching the homily; Assisting the priest at Mass (Sign of Peace and Dismissal); leading communion services, when need arises; bringing the Eucharist to the sick at home and in hospitals (nursing homes); Presiding at Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; the celebration of Baptism; celebrating marriages; presiding at funerals – (also removals, reception of remains, burials).

Faith Development

Participation in sacramental preparation programmes; formation of Ministers of the Eucharist; formation of Ministers of the Word; formation of Altar servers; facilitating study of, and prayer with, the Scriptures; facilitating the development of lay ministry; chaplaincy to various parish groups; school chaplaincy.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm +353 (0) 87 310 4444.