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Wednesday 27 August 2014

Former car salesman (48) ordained today as Fr Seamus McEntee

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin speaks of dire need for priests in Ireland

Louise Hogan

Published 03/06/2014 | 12:13

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Diarmuid Martin

ARCHBISHOP Diarmuid Martin spoke out about the Catholic Church's "need" for more priests at the ordination of a businessman into the priesthood.

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In a music-filled ceremony in Dublin's St Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dr Martin highlighted the falloff in the number of priests in parishes around the capital and countrywide.

"I could look at statistics of all kinds which indicate how great the need for priests is in this Archdiocese of Dublin," Dr Martin told the family, neighbours and many friends of Fr Seamus McEntee (48) who was being ordained after ministering as a deacon in a number of Dublin parishes for the past year.

"I could speculate and reflect on the seriousness of the fall in the numbers of priests. It is part of my responsibility as Archbishop to look at hard facts and see how we can respond best to the pastoral needs of the diocese in the light of the current challenging situation."

However, Dr Martin stressed in his wide-ranging homily that it was necessary to mention the need for more priests it was important to reflect on "how fulfilling priestly ministry is".

Fr McEntee, who originally grew up on a farm in Rathcoole, Co Dublin, spent 10-years working in sales in the motor industry before starting in the seminary in Maynooth in 2009.

The newly ordained priest said he was inspired to "share the love and mercy of God" that he had experienced in his life.

After studying business and marketing in the 1980s, he emigrated to London where he worked in human resources and retail.

In the 1990s he spent five years working with the Missionaries of Charity, a religious order founded by Mother Teresa, in Mexico and Rome. He says much of the inspiration to join the priesthood came from his time spent working with Mother Teresa's order and aiding the poor.

In the time leading up to his ordination, he has been working with prisoners in Mountjoy, the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire and with the Archdiocese social care agency, Crosscare.

The church rang out with a round of applause  as Fr McEntee stood on the altar as the priests passed by to deliver the 'Kiss of Peace'.

Many friends and family took photographs during the ornate ceremony, as his mother Mary, sisters Wynne and Marie, and brothers Terry and Liam looked on.

There are currently eight men studying for the priesthood in the Archdiocese in Maynooth and Rome - with two Dublin seminarians, Paul Glennon and Chris Derwin, ordained to the deaconate in a ceremony in St Patrick's College, Maynooth, last Sunday.

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