On Sunday 5th October 2014, Rev. Damien Kivlehan and Rev. Andy Brady were ordained as permanent deacons for the diocese of Kilmore. This marked an historic and new departure in the life of the Diocese of Kilmore and the parishes in which our new deacon would minister.

Bishop Leo O’Reilly inaugurated the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of Kilmore at a special gathering in the Diocesan Pastoral Centre on Sunday 29th November 2009. Permanent deacons were very common in the early church, assisting the apostles with the practical day to day running of the fledgling church and especially with works of charity. Over the centuries as the church grew stronger and the numbers of priests increased their role was taken over by the religious orders and the permanent diaconate gradually faded from the scene. However, the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s cleared the way for a revival of this important ministry.

Sadly, Deacon Damien died in January 2016 having ministered in the parish of Kilann for the 14 months since his ordination.

L-R. Deacon Andy Brady, Mgr. Michael Cooke, Director of the Diaconate in the diocese of Kilmore, Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Mrs. Annette Kelly, Padraig Kelly, Fr Michael Duignan, Director of the Diaconate Programme in St Angela’s College, Sligo.

The photo above was taken in St Clare’s Church, Manorhamilton on Saturday 10th June 2017, at the Conferring of the Ministry of Acolyte on Mr Padraig Kelly. Presently Pádraig, from Glencar, Co. Leitrim, is a candidate for the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of Kilmore. God willing, Padraig will be ordained a deacon later this year.

The diaconate has been understood as a distinct ministry of service in the church since the earliest days therefore a permanent deacon is primarily involved in works of charity and service, in visiting and supporting the sick, the bereaved and prisoners. They promote awareness of the social teaching of the church, work for justice and human rights, help provide an outreach to those who are hurt or alienated and facilitate the development of lay ministry in the parish. Deacons are also able to proclaim the gospel and preach the homily at Sunday Mass, assist at the altar, perform baptisms, preside at weddings and funeral services and be involved in the ongoing evangelization that is an essential element of parish life in modern Ireland.

Bishop Leo’s homily is available here.

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