NOEL TREANOR OF DOWN AND CONNOR ORDAINED 9 NEW PERMANENT DEACONS IN BELFAST LAST SUNDAY.
Bishop Treanor ordains first permanent deacons for Down and Connor
By Sarah Mac Donald - 16 October, 2018
Nine new deacons include two prominent barristers, one of whom was raised a Presbyterian before he became a Catholic.
Bishop Noel Treanor ordained nine men as permanent deacons on Sunday in Belfast, the first cohort to serve in Down and Connor since the permanent diaconate was reintroduced into the Church after Vatican II.
The nine new deacons are: Joseph Baxter, Terence Butcher, Brendan Dowd, Brett Lockhart, James McAllister, Gregory McGuigan, Patrick McNeill, Kevin Webb and Martin Whyte.
The group includes two prominent barristers serving in Northern Ireland.
Brett Lockhart QC represented the Omagh bombing families. He was raised as a Presbyterian and was an Elder in his Church before he joined the Catholic Church.
The group also includes two teachers. Brendan Dowd is a religious education teacher at St Malachy’s College in Belfast and Martin Whyte is principal of St Oliver Plunkett’s Primary School in Toomebridge, Co. Derry.
Speaking after the ceremony at St Peter’s Cathedral in Belfast, Rev Lockhart said he was “overjoyed”.
“I was a Presbyterian and became a Catholic 20 years ago, and this has been an extraordinary journey. I am still loving parts of the Presbyterian background that I come from but being received into the Catholic Church, and now being able to serve the Church, is just overwhelming and brilliant,” he told the Irish News.
Gregory McGuigan QC was also ordained at Sunday’s ceremony.
Speaking ahead of the ordinations, Bishop Treanor said he welcomed the arrival of the permanent diaconate to the diocese.
“To these men, and to their families, I express heartfelt gratitude and appreciation and I assure them of the prayers and support of myself and of the priests and peoples of Down and Connor.”
Permanent deacons can celebrate weddings and funerals and they can read the Gospel at Mass but they cannot hear confessions or celebrate the Eucharist.
The deacons will take up pastoral work in parishes across Down and Connor.
I watched the recording of the ordination on St. Peter's Cathedral webcam.
I was very impressed with the music. Well done whoever was responsible.
I skipped through Treanor's homily as it is my opinion that he is some kind of functioning atheist or agnostic.
HOLY ORDERS FOR MIDDLE AND UPPER CLASSES?
Great emphasis was placed on the fact that two of the new deacons are barristers, one a Catholic school principal and one a Catholic teacher.
Nothing wrong with that per se.
I was just left wondering what occupations the other 5 have?
Was there a labourer, a street sweeper, a chef, a joiner or a plumber among them?
Are any of them on Job Seeker's Allowance, Personal Independence Payments etc?
Or are they all "professionals"?
Maybe someone can let us know?
It would not be nice if all permanent deacons were only from the middle and upper classes.
THE ONE NOT ORDAINED:
There was one of those who started out with these 9 who was not ordained.
His best friend was married in a registry office and he asked this prospective deacon to be his best man.
The prospective deacon agreed - not because he agreed with registry office marriages - but because he was his lifelong friend.
As a result of his kind and compassionate action, he claims, the deacon training diocesan priest Darach Mac Giolla Cathain and Noel Treanor dismissed him from the diaconate preparation course.
Was this a Christlike thing o do?
I think Jesus would have been best man for his beloved friend.
Of course, the Pharisees of Jesus time would have condemned him too for his compassion.
To paraphrase Jesus:
"THE PHARISEES AND THE POOR YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE WITH YOU".