- “Acting in the person of Christ means that a priest can never put himself or his personal opinion at the centre of his ministry” – Bishop Fintan Gavin
- Father Sheehan to celebrate his First Mass this evening at Newcestown Church
A West Cork church which is 150-years-old, has hosted its first ordination of a priest. Father Ronan Sheehan (27) was ordained yesterday in his own parish church in Newcestown, Co Cork, on Sunday in a church packed with family, clergy, parishioners and friends. Father Sheehan was ordained by Bishop Fintan Gavin, Bishop of Cork and Ross, and he becomes the youngest priest in the diocese. The congregation included his parents Bud and Denise Sheehan, his sisters Ciara, Leona, Orlaith and Aoibhe, and extended family.
Newcestown Parish has been preparing a long time for this historic moment and parishioners have volunteered to do everything from forming a special choir to erecting marquees to accommodate the overflow from the church.
Addressing the congregation during the Ordination Mass, Bishop Gavin said that Father Sheehan joins a long line of priests and religious which the parish has offered the universal Church over the past 200 years.
Speaking directly to the candidate for ordination, Bishop Gavin reminded Father Sheehan that priesthood is about service, “Ronan, you are called to act in a unique way in the person of Christ in the Eucharist and the other sacraments. Acting in the person of Christ means that a priest can never put himself or his personal opinion at the centre of his ministry.”
“He is called to lead people not to himself but to Christ,” Bishop Gavin said.
Father Sheehan will celebrate his First Mass on Monday evening at Newcestown Church where he received the sacraments for the first time while in school. On Tuesday evening he will celebrate Mass at the second church of the parish in Farnivane where he was baptised.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Lisa Sheridan +353 (0) 86 084 3175.
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