Two seminarians from Derry and Donegal Dioceses have been ordained as deacons in Rome.
Bishop Alan McGuckian, Bishop of Raphoe, ordained Reverend Declan McGeehan from the Derry Diocese and Reverend Anthony Briody from the Diocese of Raphoe to the diaconate, at the Basilica of Saint Prassede on Tuesday.
Rev. McGeehan, who has previously been on placement in Derry, and Rev, Briody are currently resident in the Pontifical Irish College in Rome, from where they are pursuing their studies for the priesthood.
Monsignor Ciarán O’Carroll, Rector of the Pontifical Irish College said: “It is with great joy that we celebrate the ordination to the diaconate today of Anthony and Declan.
“On behalf of everyone at the Pontifical Irish College I congratulate our two new deacons on their ordination.
“I wish them every happiness and blessing as they commence their diaconal ministries of service, of charity and of leadership in prayer and liturgy.
“May they experience God’s grace anew in their lives so that they may courageously proclaim the Gospel in word and deed, generously serving the people of God in their dioceses with care and compassion.”
The ordaining prelate was Bishop McGuckian and he was accompanied by Bishop Philip Boyce OCD, the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore.
Reverend Anthony Briody and Reverend Declan McGeehan are in their fifth year of formation for the priesthood.
Ordination as a transitional deacon generally occurs after a seminarian has completed at least three years of study in theology.
In addition to their assignments as transitional deacons, Reverend Briody and Reverend McGeehan will spend the next year completing their priestly formation.
Transitional deacons exercise the same ministry as permanent deacons, as such they are now ordinary Ministers of Baptism; are able to preside at weddings; assist the priest at Mass; proclaim the Gospel and preach, as well as preside at wakes and funeral services.