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Cork is getting six married deacons

Friday, 22nd September, 2017 10:31am

Six married men will be ordained as deacons for service for the Cloyne diocese on Sunday. 

At the celebration of a special mass at 2.30pm this Sunday, William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne, will ordain them as deacons for service in the diocese in Saint Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh.  

The six men are Garrett Cod, Peter Gurbal, Damian McCabe, Edward Mulhare, John Nestor and Brian Williams. 

Garrett Cody (52), originally from Glasheen, now lives in Garryvoe, in the parish of Ballymacoda, with his wife Bridget and three teenage children. Garrett works as a manager with the HSE in Older Persons’ Services in Cork.

The greatest challenge Garrett expects to face is the integration of family and professional life with ministerial responsibilities.

Peter Gurbal (44), originally from Bratislava, Slovakia, now lives in Cobh with his wife Lenka and five children ranging in age from thirteen to one year old. Peter is a sales assistant in the grocery sector and is interested in all aspects of ministry, especially leading prayer groups among the younger generations.

Damian McCabe (40), originally from Buncrana on the northern coast, but now lives on the southern coast at Whitegate in the parish of Aghada, with his wife Rachel and two daughters aged nine and three. Damian works as a chartered accountant with PepsiCo Ireland. 

Edward Mulhare (50), originally from Cahergal Lawn, Ballyhooly Road now lives in Castlemartyr, parish of Imogeela with his wife, Valerie, and five children aged from eighteen to nine years old.  

Edward works as a cabinet maker with ORM Ltd, Castlemartyr. He said: “The deacon will be a witness to the faith in the workplace, the housing estate and among neighbours and friends.”

John Nestor, (47), originally from Douglas, also lives in Castlemartyr with his wife Catherine and two teenage children. John is a triplet and a social care worker. He sees the deacon being of service to the marginalised and promoting justice and the social teaching of the church.

Brian Williams, (43), originally from Clonmel, is at present moving to the parish of Macroom with his wife Sharon and two daughters aged nine and five.  

Brian has been the Director of Cloyne Diocesan Youth and Community services for the past ten years. He said: “I hope that as a deacon I might be able to reach out to and connect with people who are feeling isolated in our communities.”

The vocation of a deacon in the church is a specific one. Different to priesthood, it is, however, a participation in the sacrament of holy orders. The ministry is a threefold ministry of service to the word of God, to the altar and to charity, especially to the service of the poor.

Ahead of Sunday’s ordinations, Bishop Crean said: “The Diocese of Cloyne warmly welcomes the ordination of our new six deacons on Sunday. It is encouraging that we will have our first permanent deacons ordained for the diocese.  

“Although this takes place in the context of falling numbers of priests, it would not be correct to see the diaconate simply as a replacement for the priesthood. The fullness of the Church’s ministry is seen in the co-operation of bishops, priests and deacons with the people of God in a co-responsibility which includes a variety of gifts and a variety of roles.”

He also said that deacons hold a special ministry within the Church which is to complement, but not to replace, the contribution of priests or that of the ministry of lay people who serve the community of the Church in an increasing number of ways.  

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