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Wednesday 17 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Jeanne of the Cross Delanoue
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When the dad walking the bride down the aisle is also a deacon

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 08/11/16

I know a few deacons who have had this experience.

But here’s a story from Ireland, where deacons are still something of a novelty:

John Taaffe walked his only daughter Amy down the aisle of St Mary’s Church in Drogheda, then nipped into the vestry, donned his clerical garb, and re-emerged to conduct the ceremony as Amy married long-time sweetheart David Cunningham. A deacon in Louth town’s St Peter’s parish, John said: “It was emotional when I walked Amy down the aisle. I was, like any father would be, in a bit of a state — my emotions were all over the place. “When I went in to change into my robes it actually took me a while to settle down and get my thoughts together. That was only natural, I suppose. It’s not something you’d do every day.” And not something he’s likely to do again either: “That’s true. Amy is my only daughter, I have two sons, I’m actually a granddad as well.” He was one of Ireland’s first permanent deacons after being ordained at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh in 2013. He can perform weddings and take charge of funerals but cannot celebrate a full Mass, although he can assist a priest. “People get confused when they hear the title deacon. They assume I am going on to be a priest, and there are those type of deacons as well, but I am a permanent one, I am still happily married to Joan,” said John. “I was a little surprised when Amy asked me to officiate. My decision to become a deacon was something she struggled with as a teenager but, since I was ordained, she and the rest of the family have been hugely supportive.”

Read it all. 

Photo: Martyn Smyth

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