The diaconate is still relatively new in Ireland—and a big deal, as this story makes clear:
Six married men, all of them with young children, will be ordained today (Sunday).
Their ordination will form part of a special Mass at 2.30pm by Bishop William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne, at St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh, Co Cork.
The newly-ordained deacons will then administer to the needs of the Cloyne diocese.
Theirs is a threefold ministry of service to the Word of God, to the Altar and to Charity — especially to the service of the poor.
Spokesperson Fr Bill Bermingham said: “Deacons have a special relationship of service with their bishop and to the people of God.
“Very often people expect that deacons are older men who have retired or are widowers, but these six men are all in their 40s and 50s with young families who are willing to take on this extra work all in God’s name.”
Bishop Crean said: “The Diocese of Cloyne warmly welcomes the ordination of our new six deacons on Sunday. It is encouraging that we will have our first permanent deacons ordained for the diocese.
“Although this takes place in the context of falling numbers of priests, it would not be correct to see the diaconate simply as a replacement for the priesthood.
“The fullness of the Church’s ministry is seen in the cooperation of bishops, priests and deacons with the people of God in a co-responsibility which includes a variety of gifts and roles.”
Read more. A sidebar indicates that the youngest ordained is 40, and their occupations include a cabinet maker, an accountant, a social worker and a grocery trade sales assistant. Ad multos annos!
Photo: The Irish Sun