On this coming Sunday, 17 June 2018, at 3pm in St Michael’s Church, Enniskillen, Martin Donnelly, Enniskillen will be ordained to the Diaconate. Martin will be the first permanent deacon in the Diocese of Clogher since the Permanent Diaconate was re-introduced by the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). The ordaining prelate will be Bishop Alan McGuckian SJ, Bishop of Raphoe. The Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Clogher, Monsignor Joseph McGuinness, will be one of the concelebrants of the Mass. Martin’s wife Caitlín and members of their family will take part in the liturgy, along with other members of the parish community of St Michael’s.
The ministry of Deacon goes back to the earliest days of the Church (see Acts of the Apostles 6: 1-6). A deacon is an ordained minister of the Church, one who serves in the parish and in the wider community. The Second Vatican Council brought forward a renewal of ministry for both lay and ordained – by our baptism we are all called to participate in the saving work of the Church. Among the wide range of ministries in the Church today is that of the permanent Deacon, a ministry that includes married men.
A deacon is ordained, so therefore the ministry of deacon is one of service – at the altar, of the Word of God and in promoting charity in the community. Deacons serve at the altar during Mass, bring the Eucharist to the sick at home and in hospital, preside at the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction, celebrate Baptism and Marriages and preside at Funeral Rites such as reception and burial. A deacon also leads the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours (Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer) and the Liturgy of the Word (outside of Mass). A deacon may proclaim the Gospel and preach the homily at any liturgy and can lead sacramental preparation and renewal programmes for other ministries in the parish. The work of the deacon in the community is very important. This may include the visitation of the sick, the bereaved and those in prison. A deacon has a very important role in the promotion of social justice.
Martin Donnelly and his wife Caitlín live in Enniskillen. They have two children Ciara (married to Cathal) and Brian (married to Ruth) and a nine-month old Grandson, Lorcan. Martin spent his working life in the field of Education as a teacher, Principal and Senior Education Adviser. His educational post graduate studies included Masters degrees in Education Policy, Management and Philosophy. Following early retirement in 2011 Martin studied Pastoral Liturgy (H.Dip) in St Patricks Pontifical University, Maynooth before commencing the academic and human formation for Diaconate. Martin has been active in parish ministry throughout his life. He has served as chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council of St Michael’s Parish, Enniskillen and Lisbellaw and is the current chairperson of the Clogher Diocesan Liturgy Commission. He has been assigned to minister in the Enniskillen Pastoral Area (Enniskillen & Tempo parishes).