It was a day of great celebration for the parish of Knockanore and the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore on Sunday 1 June, as Cardinal Séan Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, ordained 26 year old Shane O’Neill and fourteen other seminarians as deacons at Mass celebrated in the College Chapel of the national seminary in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
Joined by his parents Patricia and Tom, and other family members, Shane was also joined by his parish Priest, Fr Pat Condon, along with the priests of the College community and other priests from the diocese who concelebrated the ordination Mass.
Commenting after the Mass, Monsignor Hugh Connolly, the President of Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth, said, “It is with great joy that we celebrate the ordination of fifteen men to the diaconate especially today on the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. On behalf of all of us here in the formation and learning community which is Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth, I congratulate our fifteen ordinands and wish them every happiness and blessing in their forthcoming diaconal ministry. May each of them experience God’s grace afresh in their hearts so that they will courageously proclaim the Gospel in both word and deed and go out to serve the people of God in their various dioceses with care and compassion.”
In his homily, Cardinal Brady sated : “Gentlemen, I congratulate you – that after a long and rigorous course of discernment and formation, you have been found worthy. I thank, most sincerely, all those who have contributed to that formation. The list is a long one and it begins with parents. Only God knows the full list and God will most certainly reward the contribution made”.
Shane will be spending some time ministering in the diocese over the summer before returning to Maynooth for his final year of studies in September.