Next Sunday, September 29 will be an historic day in the Archdiocese of Armagh when the first ordination to the Permanent Diaconate will take place in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh.
Five men, having completed three years’ formation and theological training, will be ordained as deacons for service in five parishes in the Archdiocese of Armagh: Andy Hegarty from Cookstown, who has been appointed to Dungannon Parish; Martin Barlow from Portadown who has been appointed to Keady; Benignus Ndubuisi from Dundalk who has been appointed to St Patrick’s, Dundalk; John Taaffe from Drogheda who has been appointed to Ardee; David Durrigan from Ardee who has been appointed to Drogheda.
In 2001 the Irish Episcopal Conference got the go ahead from the Vatican to restore the Permanent Diaconate in Ireland, and in 2005 approval was received for the norms for Permanent Diaconate. The first eight deacons were ordained last June in the Archdiocese of Dublin. Six other dioceses in Ireland have sought and are training deacons including Armagh, Dromore, Kerry, Kildare & Leighlin, Kilmore and Waterford & Lismore.