THE Redemptorist Order celebrated the ordination of Fr. Derek Ryan in a special ceremony at St. Joseph's Church on Sunday last.
The newly ordained Fr. Ryan (32) who is originally from Knocklyon, Co. Meath, took his vows in front of a wide circle of family and friends, and parishioners.
Proud parents Eugene and Bernie led the family, along with Fr. Ryan's two grandmothers who made the special trip to Dundalk for the ordination.
'It was a lovely day for everyone who attended the ceremony. It is an incredibly brave and courageous thing to do, entering the priesthood, and we are delighted to welcome Fr. Derek Ryan to the order' said Fr. Michael Cusack, Curate at St. Josephs.
' The lovely music for the ordination was provided by St. Joseph's senior choir led by Michael Boyd, which really added to the occasion.'
He added that ordination ceremonies are relatively new at St. Joseph's, with the first being held two years ago.
Fr. Ryan was ordained by Archbishop Joseph Tobin, a senior aide to Pope Benedict, and a member of the Redemptorist Order, who had travelled from Rome for the event.
The eldest of four children, Fr. Ryan spent nine years studying between Milltown, Dublin and in Maynooth.
He became a familiar face in Dundalk in recent years, at the annual St. Gerard's Novena, where he led huge congregations in song.
He has taken up full time duties at the Redemptorist's Clonard Monastery in Belfast, but it is hoped he will return to Dundalk to assist in the novena sessions.
Fr. Ryan will be saying his very first mass at his home parish in Knocklyon on Sunday next.