History as Benignus ordained a Deacon

Published 02/10/2013 | 05:20

DUNDALK parishioner Benignus Nbuduisi made history when he was one of five men who were ordained as permanent deacons at a ceremony in St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh, on Sunday.

Dundalk parishioner Benignus Nbuduisi made history when he was one of five men who were ordained as permanent deacons at a ceremony in St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh, on Sunday.

This was a historic day for the Archdiocese as it was the first Ordination to the permanent Diaconate to take place in St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh.

Benignus (Ben) is one of five men who had completed three years formation and theological training and were ordained by Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh. All of the men are married with children and their families were among those who attened the ceremony.

Cardinal Sean Brady, described it as an occasion of 'great joy' for Armagh, adding that although the permanent diaconate was restored in Vatican II, it was 'just now taking off in Ireland.'

'It is a day of great jubilation here for us all over the diocese.'

Reflecting on the joy of the men's spouses, children, parents and friends, the Primate said 'Their joy shows how much they appreciate this ministry which is being conferred – and that invites all of us to reflect on the ministry each one of us have from our baptism to share in the work of Jesus Christ – it is not just the ordained ministry.'

Addressing seven hundred family members, priests and religious, the Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Eamon Martin, described the five men as bridge builders between the laity, priests and bishops.

He told them that as married fathers and grandfathers 'you will continue as ordained men to make a living in the world.'

From now on the deacons will be referred to as 'Rev Mr' and they will serve on a part-time basis in their appointed parishes, assisting with baptisms and funerals at the weekends and some administrative duties during the week. Deacons cannot celebrate Mass or hear confessions. All five men had to obtain the permission of their wives to go ahead with their studies for ministry.

Benignus will serve in St Patrick's Parish in Dundalk.

The Argus

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