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Carnacon man ordained permanent deacon for Tuam

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CEREMONYOutgoing Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary conducted the ordination ceremony


Oisín McGovern


CARNACON native James McLoughlin is among the first three permanent deacons to be ordained in the Tuam diocese.
Along with Cathal Galligan from the parish of Corofin and Julian Drapiewski from Athenry, James was ordained by outgoing Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary at a ceremony in Tuam’s Cathedral of the Assumption on Sunday.
The ordination ceremony was the first to take place since the cathedral was refurbished.
Derived from the Greek word Diákonia, meaning ‘service’, the diaconate (office of a deacon) is centred around ministry of charity, ministry of the word and ministry of liturgy.
The permanent diaconate – currently open only to married or celibate lay men – involves assisting the local priest priest in his duties. These include blessing sacramental marriages, bringing Holy Communion to the sick, presiding at funeral liturgies and carrying out the Rite of Christian Burial.
The newly ordained deacons each undertook four-and-a-half years of part-time study in St Patrick’s College in Maynooth prior to being ordained.

‘A great day’
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday evening (Monday), James McLoughlin described being ordained for the voluntary role as ‘a great honour’.
Prior to being ordained, James has been a sacristan, Minister of the Eucharist and Mass reader in St Mary’s Church in Carnacon.
A former chairman of the Carnacon pastoral council, he will be assisting Parish Priest Fr Michael Farragher, who also says Mass in Killawalla and Ballintubber Abbey.
“It’s all thanks to my wife, Patsy, and my children, they supported me,” said James.
“The three of us are three volunteers, with our own faith, who want to do a bit more for the Catholic Church,” he added.
Addressing the newly ordained deacons, Archbishop Neary described the ceremony as ‘a great day’ and a ‘historic and joyful occasion’ for the diocese.
“The ministry of the deacon, understood and exercised properly, does not detract and should never detract from the vital role of the empowered laity. Indeed, it should and does enrich it,” Archbishop Neary said in his homily.
“A vibrant diaconate will enhance, expand and empower the ministry of the laity, the religious and of the priesthood since the diaconate is a God-given grace for and gift to the Church. And in the case of the three permanent deacons ordained today, you bring an additional blessing to your new ministry.”
The archbishop continued: “As married men, as husbands and fathers, you bring an experience and expertise to the ordained ministry that is already totally supportive of and fully committed to the vocation of the laity, of the priesthood, and of the consecrated way of life too.
“You will have the honour of serving parishioners by presiding at other non-Eucharistic liturgies and leading the Christian community in prayer in all kinds of different circumstances – some very joyful, others under the veil of sadness.
“Julian, James and Cathal, as you begin your new, privileged and challenging service of God’s people, seek always ‘to bear witness to the truth’ in everything you do and say. In that way, those whom you serve will hear and respond to the Lord’s voice through you.”
He concluded with a blessing. “May God who has begun this good work in you bring it to fulfilment.”

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