On Sunday 30 June next, Deacon Kevin Connolly from the parish of Donagh, Co Monaghan, will be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Larry Duffy in St Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan, beginning at 3pm.
Deacon Kevin is extending an open invitation to all to attend and participate in the ordination liturgy in the Cathedral on that day. On the following day, Monday 1 July, he will celebrate his first Mass in St Mary’s Church, Glennan, Glaslough, Co Monaghan at 7pm. Once again, everyone will be welcome.
This ordination liturgy will also be historic in that Deacon Kevin will be the first priest to be ordained by Bishop Larry Duffy.
Kevin Connolly is from Glaslough, Co Monaghan. He is the son of Patrick and Kathleen Connolly and is the eldest of six children, three brothers and two sisters. Between 1985-1993, he attended Corracrin National School. From 1993-1998 he attended secondary school at Beech Hill College Monaghan. Kevin then studied in An Griannan Horticulture Termonfeckin Drogheda for two and a half years where he received a diploma in horticulture in 2001. Between 2001-2003, Kevin was employed at the Greenfingers garden centre. Between 2003-2012 he was self-employed in horticulture in Monaghan. In August 2012, Kevin commenced his studies in St Patricks Seminary Maynooth. For the past year he has been serving as a deacon in Monaghan-Rackwallace (Cathedral) parish, prior to his ordination.
The ordination of a priest is a great event in the life of the diocese and for the parish community. As a diocese, we give thanks to God for the gift of priesthood itself and, especially, that Deacon Kevin has answered “Yes” to God’s call to serve the people of God in our diocese. We pray that others will do likewise, so that, through priesthood, the diaconate, religious life and other ministries, they may build up the community of faith that is the Church and be witnesses to Christ in the world.
There are three degrees of the sacrament of holy orders – deacon, priest and bishop. All three are celebrated within the Eucharistic liturgy. The essential rite of the sacrament for all three degrees consists of the imposition of hands by the bishop on the head of the ordinand and the bishop’s prayer of consecration, asking God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and his gifts. Only a bishop, as a successor of the apostles, can ordain. The sacrament of Holy Orders configures the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit so that he may serve as Christ’s instrument for his Church. While the whole Church is a ‘priestly people’, the ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. (See, Catechism of the Catholic Church, no’s 1573, 1576, 1581, 1591, 1592).