The Diocese of Clogher will celebrate the ordination as Deacon of one of its seminarians this week. On Tuesday 18 April, Sean Mulligan, a native of Tydavnet parish in Co Monaghan and a seminarian at Rome’s Pontifical Irish College, will be ordained to the first of the three degrees of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, in the Church of St Alphonsus Liguori on the Via Merulana in Rome.

The ordaining prelate will be Most Rev Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland. The Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Clogher, Monsignor Joseph McGuinness and several other priests of the diocese will be among the concelebrants. Two other men from Dublin Archdiocese will also be ordained during the liturgy, which begins at 10.30am (local time).

Ordination to the diaconate is the final stage before ordination to Priesthood. This will be the fifth such ordination for the Diocese of Clogher in the past five years.

The Sacrament of Orders has three degrees (i) Deacon, (ii) Priest and (iii) Bishop. ‘Deacons share in Christ’s mission and grace in a special way. The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them with an imprint (“character”) which cannot be removed and which configures them to Christ, who made himself the “deacon” or servant of all. Among other tasks, it is the task of deacons to assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, above all the Eucharist, in the distribution of Holy Communion, in assisting at and blessing marriages, in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching, in presiding over funerals, and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity.’ – Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1570.

Biographical Note on Sean Mulligan

Seán Mulligan, aged 46, is the son of the late Michael and Philomena Mulligan (R.I.P). One of three brothers, he was educated in St. Joseph’s N.S, Knockatallon, and Beech Hill College, Monaghan, before obtaining a National Diploma in Civil Engineering from Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT). After working for three years in the concrete business, Seán took up a post with Monaghan GAA, coaching the skills of Gaelic Football and Hurling to primary school children in the north-Monaghan area. It was during this period that Seán felt a renewed inner-desire to serve God through the priesthood, but he chose instead to pursue a career in Intellectual Disability Nursing through DKIT. and St. Mary’s Residential Centre, Drumcar, Co. Louth. He spent five years working as a staff nurse in St. Mary’s before finally answering the call to priesthood, entering formal studies for the Diocese of Clogher in 2007.

Seán spent the first year of his formation in a propaedeutic year at the Royal English College in Valladolid in Spain, before studying philosophy for two years in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth. After this, Seán spent a period of time discerning community life with two different religious communities, before returning to the diocese. He then underwent a pastoral year in Dublin, working alongside Fr. Peter McVerry, S.J., where he gained a great deal of experience in working with the homeless, individuals with drug and alcohol addictions, and with prisoners. Following this, Seán moved to the Pontifical Irish College in Rome to study for a degree in theology at the Angelicum University.

Seán is an avid sports fan, and a devoted follower of his home club, Scotstown G.F.C., and the Monaghan county teams. He represented his club, Scotstown, at all levels, winning two Monaghan Senior Football Championships with them in 1992 and 1993. He has also represented Monaghan county at Vocational Schools’, Minor, U’21, and senior level. 

Seán is also a lifelong member of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association.