By Ann Marie Foley - 08 April, 2015
“It is our privilege to remind people of God,” Bishop Martin Drennan of Galway told two students of the Pontifical Irish College in Rome as they were ordained deacons yesterday, Easter Tuesday.
“The more secular our world becomes the greater the difficulty it has with the idea of forgiveness. Healed wounds don’t hurt but the unhealed wounds certainly do and without the touch of God’s mercy they continue to cause pain,” said Bishop Drennan.
Focusing on the Gospel of the paralytic who was lowered through the roof into the presence of Jesus, he added: “Like those who laid the paralysed man before Jesus, we are called to find creative ways to bring people to Jesus, to make openings in places that shut people off from God, to identify accurately what paralyses, to bring it along and lay it before Jesus.”
The new deacons Rev Stephen Duffy (38) from Ballybay, Co Monaghan, and Rev Daniel Gallagher (25) from Bohermore in Galway City were joined by over eighty family members and friends in Rome for the ordination ceremony.
Bishop Drennan reminded the deacons that “at the heart of life is service. Every gift that God gives is not just for ourselves. It is for others, to be shared, and will bring most joy when it is shared.”
Speaking of “an aggressive individualism that asserts my rights, my opinions, my beliefs,” Bishop Drennan said this gives little space to inherited wisdom, tradition, and institutions.
“Large swathes of our world have forgotten two basic lessons that we all need to learn: there is a God, and I am not He,” he said.
Bishop Martin Drennan travelled to Rome for the special occasion.
The liturgy was celebrated in the Church of San Silvestro in Capite, an 8th century minor basilica dedicated to Pope Sylvester I, which is under the care of the Irish Pallotine Fathers and is the titular church of Cardinal Desmond Connell, Archbishop Emeritus of Dublin, who is its cardinal priest.
The two deacons will be ordained to the priesthood during the next year for service in their respective dioceses of Clogher and Galway.
Commenting after the ordination Mass, Mgr Ciarán O’Carroll, Rector of the College, said “Today, Easter Tuesday, the community of the Pontifical Irish College rejoices with Stephen and Daniel.”
He thanked God for their vocation and offered them prayers, and blessings and wished them happiness in their ministry.
“Inspired by the example of the Holy Father Pope Francis may they be true friends to the poor and the voice of the forgotten,” he said.
Rev Stephen Duffy has a background in management in the food industry and Rev Gallagher is a graduate of Irish and History from NUI Galway.
The Pontifical Irish College in Rome currently has twelve seminarians from Irish dioceses in formation.