At the ordination ceremony were, from left, Deacon Julian Drapiewski, Deacon Cathal Galligan, Most Rev. Michael Neary, Apostolic Administrator, Archdiocese of Tuam, and Deacon James McLoughlin.Photo courtesy of Fr. Stephen Farragher

Mayo man ordained deacon for Tuam Archdiocese

THE first permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Tuam have been ordained.

They are James McLoughlin from the parish of Carnacon, Cathal Galligan from the parish of Corofin and Julian Drapiewski from Athenry Parish.

The ordination Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Michael Neary in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Tuam, attended by the three men's wives and families, members of the clergy and parishioners.

Noting the significance of the event, Archbishop Neary said: “This is the first ordination to the Permanent Diaconate in our Archdiocese and, in that sense, it indicates a new beginning.”

The three deacons will assist with a number of ministries, which Dr. Neary touched on in his homily: “The ministry of charity involves the deacon witnessing to the Gospel through a life of grace and thereby witnessing through service to the poor, to the aged, to the sick and infirm, to prisoners, to the marginalised, to youth, to young adults, to groups like Saint Vincent de Paul, the Legion of Mary, to young people who may be interested in exploring their faith, and to other groups who may be endeavouring to find their feet in matters of faith and spirituality.

“In the ministry of the Word, these new deacons will proclaim the Gospel and carry out the vitally important ministry of preaching. They will accompany and assist through catechesis, religious instruction and prayer those who are preparing for the sacraments, and they will gather and encourage and help to form those who are called to exercise parish-based ministries of all kinds, not least among which are those who are members of baptism teams and those who dedicate themselves to supporting and consoling those who are bereaved.”

In the liturgical sphere, they will confer baptism, assist at the altar during Mass, witness and bless sacramental marriages, bring Holy Communion to the sick, preside at funeral liturgies and carry out the rite of Christian burial. They will also be serving parishioners by presiding at other non-Eucharistic liturgies and leading the community in prayer in all kinds of different circumstances.