Sunday, 26th May 2024

Four Deacons ordained at Pontifical Irish College, Rome

Posted on 02. Apr, 2013 in Carousel

New Deacons 9

Photo: (left to right): Fr George Hayes, Vice Rector, Mons. Ciarán O’Carroll, Rector, Rev. Dominic McGrattan, Rev. Patrick O’Donoghue, Archbishop Dermot Clifford, ordaining Bishop, Rev. Brian Fitzpatrick, Rev. Liam Boyle, Fr Hugh Clifford, Director of Formation, Fr Brendan Kelly CSsR, Spiritual Director.

On Easter Tuesday, 2nd April 2013, four seminarians from the Pontifical Irish College in Rome were ordained deacons in the fourth century Basilica of Saints John and Paul by Archbishop Dermot Clifford of Cashel and Emly.  During the ceremony, attended by over one hundred family members and friends from Ireland, Archbishop Clifford recalled his own diaconate fifty years ago during the time of the Second Vatican Council.

Archbishop Clifford reminded the new deacons that the life of a deacon is a life of service, particularly service of the poor. He praised the candidates for their courage in undertaking a lifelong commitment to celibacy and service.  He reminded the four new deacons that the election of Pope Francis has signalled a time of hope and joy for the universal Church.

Liam Boyle (25)  of the Diocese of Raphoe entered the seminary following completion of his secondary education. Three of those ordained are graduates of Trinity College, Dublin. Brian Fitzpatrick (35) of the Diocese of Dromore  is a medical doctor and past winner of the Young Scientists competition. Dominic McGrattan (29) of the Diocese of Down and Connor is a graduate in law while Pat O’Donoghue (35) of the Diocese of Cloyne is a pharmacy graduate.  All four deacons are currently studying theology at the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome following previous seminary studies for three of them at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth and for the other at St. Malachy’s College, Belfast. Ordination to the diaconate is most often received one year prior to ordination to the priesthood.

The Irish College in Rome dates from 1628 and has been educating generations of priests for service in Ireland’s twenty six dioceses since then. The four deacons were among students of the Irish College who assisted newly elected Pope Francis during the Good Friday liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica on Friday last.  Commenting on the ordination of the four deacons, the Rector of the College, Msgr. Ciaran O’Carroll, said that “it is heartening to witness the courage and dedication of these four men as they begin their life of ministry and service of the Gospel and the Catholic Church in Ireland”.