Bishop Michael Smith celebrated the diaconate ordination of Reverend Declan Kelly in the parish of Rochfortbridge on Sunday 8 December 2013.
Declan, aged 26, is the eldest son of Violet and Declan Kelly and brother of Mark, Katie and Niamh. He attended St Colmcille’s National School, Gainstown and St Finian’s College, Mullingar before his seminary formation. He studied at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, the Catholic Institute, Paris and the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.
The diaconate ordination coincided with the Second Sunday of Advent. Commenting on this link, Bishop Smith explained that Declan’s ordination as a deacon has a significant ‘advent’ dimension.
“Becoming a deacon is the penultimate stage before being ordained as a priest. It is the final step on a journey in which he offers his life to the service of the Lord. For the Church community, Declan’s generosity and the faith of his family gives an example during this Advent season of how we can prepare for the Feast of Christmas. It tells us that growing in faith leads to generosity, even giving one’s life to God and His people. I encourage the parishioners of Rochfortbridge and throughout the Diocese of Meath to pray for our seven seminarians and for an increase in vocations to the priesthood.”
The normal areas of ministry which may be entrusted to deacons can be categorised under the general headings: Pastoral, Liturgical and Faith Development:
Visiting the sick; Visiting the bereaved; Youth Ministry; Working with the poor and the homeless; Promoting awareness of the social teaching of the Church; Promotion of justice and human rights.
Proclaiming the Gospel at Mass; Preaching the homily; Assisting the priest at Mass; leading communion services, when need arises; bringing the Eucharist to the sick at home and in hospitals and nursing homes; Presiding at Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; the celebration of Baptism; celebrating marriages; presiding at funerals (also removals, reception of remains, burials).
Participation in sacramental preparation programmes; formation of Ministers of the Eucharist; formation of Ministers of the Word; facilitating study of, and prayer with, the Scriptures; facilitating the development of lay ministry; chaplaincy to various parish groups; school chaplaincy.