By Katie Ascough - 19 September, 2020
"The Ordination of a man to the priesthood is an opportunity to renew again that invitation and sense of support to others who may be discerning a calling to priesthood and religious life," – Bishop Tom Deenihan.
Bishop Tom Deenihan, Bishop of Meath, will ordain Rev Norman Allred to the priesthood during Mass at 3 p.m. tomorrow 20 September in Cathedral of Christ the King in Mullingar, County Westmeath. Deacon Norman is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, where he worked as a teacher and principal in Saint Joseph`s Secondary Catholic School.
After the sad passing of Joanna Mooney, his wife of 24 years, Deacon Norman discerned the Lord calling him to the priesthood in 2014. With a life-long love and interest in Ireland, along with a semester of studies undertaken in Trinity College Dublin in 1985, he pursued his vocational discernment and was accepted for studies for the Diocese of Meath in 2016 by Bishop Michael Smith, the then-Bishop of Meath. Deacon Norman completed the required philosophical and theological studies in the Pontifical Beda College, Rome, and was ordained a deacon in the Pontifical Basilica of Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls, Rome, on 19 June 2019 by Bishop Deenihan.
Ahead of the ordination ceremony Bishop Deenihan said: “The Ordination of Norman is a day of great joy for the Diocese. The gospel of Sunday’s Mass is that of the workers being called into the vineyard at different times. Norman has a significant amount of experience as a husband and a teacher which will enrich the life of the parishes that he will work in. The fact that Norman is from America is also an indication of how the Diocese of Meath and other dioceses also are becoming dependant on priests from abroad to work in our local parishes.”
Bishop Deenihan continued: “The Ordination of a man to the priesthood is an opportunity to renew again that invitation and sense of support to others who may be discerning a calling to priesthood and religious life. Parish and family as well as priests and religious have a responsibility to support and encourage those who may be discerning such a vocation.” The diocese of Meath has three other men at various stages of formation for the diocese at present.
Deacon Norm spent his inter-semester breaks in the parish of Tullamore and, since March 2020, has been assigned to Mullingar where he has exercised his ministry in preaching and assisting at Masses, administering the sacrament of baptism, assisting the parish response to Covid-19 and the reopening of the parish churches for public worship. Deacon Norman will continue to work in Mullingar parish as a curate after his ordination on Sunday.
On Tuesday next, 22 September, the newly ordained Father Norman will offer his First Mass of Thanksgiving at 7 p.m. in the cathedral.