By Sarah Mac Donald - 23 April, 2014
Bishop John Buckley of Cork & Ross ordained two new deacons studying at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome to the diaconate on Tuesday.
The former marketing consultant and music graduate were joined by over one hundred family members and friends who travelled from Ireland for the ceremony which was celebrated in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.
The fourth century Roman church contains relics of the Cross of Christ, brought to Rome by Emperor Constantine’s mother Helena in AD 325.
The leader of the Church in Cork & Ross told the two men, Rev Marius O’Reilly (37) from Ballincollig in Cork, and Rev Conor McCarthy (26) from Finaghy in Belfast, that “the purpose of the deacon and priest is to serve God’s people and to bring Good News of the gospel”.
“Your ministry needs to reach out to people with that Good News, as Pope Francis has urged us all ‘to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus Christ’; as only in Him will you find the truth and happiness for which they are searching,” the Bishop said.
Rev O’Reilly is a graduate of University College Cork and the Smurfit Business School at University College Dublin.
Rev McCarthy is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast.
The two deacons will be ordained to the priesthood in the next year for service in their respective dioceses of Cork & Ross and Down & Connor.
Speaking after the ceremony, Mgr Ciarán O’Carroll, Rector of the Pontifical Irish College, told the two deacons that their ordination was a sign of the “continuing courage and generosity of people as they commit themselves to serving the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
He said Pope Francis constantly reminds us that the world needs Good News.
“As deacons and future diocesan priests, you are called to be messengers of hope and mercy and proclaimers of the joy of the Gospel. May God bless you in your ministry,” Mgr O’Carroll said.
The Pontifical Irish College in Rome was founded in 1628 and has been educating candidates for the priesthood for ministry in the twenty six dioceses on the island of Ireland for almost four hundred years.