Priest’s ordination first in Kerry Diocese since 2007

The ordination of the first priest in the Diocese of Kerry in 11 years has been announced and is to take place in under two weeks’ time in north Kerry.

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Rev Sean Jones, who is in his 30s, will be ordained to the priesthood on Sunday, July 1, in the Church of the Assumption, Moyvane, his native parish, at 3pm.

He will celebrate his first Mass the following day in Moyvane at 7.30pm.

Rev Jones attended Tarbert Comprehensive school where he was very involved in the life of the school.

He has also been an active member of the No Name Club, which is an alcohol- and drug-free social interaction space.

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Kerry said the journey to becoming a priest is now more involved than it was in the past.

A person receiving the Sacrament of Ordination in many ways parallels a person receiving the Sacrament of Marriage. It involves a very personal journey of discernment.

“Priesthood is a lifelong commitment. It is a unique journey for every candidate,” she said.

“Long gone are the days when every candidate entered Maynooth from secondary school and, if they persevered, were ordained six or seven years later.

She described Rev Jones’ preparation for his ordination.

“Sean has spent the past 12 months ministering as a deacon in the parish of Killarney and will be ordained a priest in his home parish of Moyvane on Sunday, the first of July.

Given the personal, faith-filled, and spiritual nature of a person’s ordination to priesthood it is usual that the preceding weeks are spent on retreat and in prayer and reflection,” said the spokeswoman.

Two other people are training for the priesthood from the Diocese of Kerry currently.

The sprawling 53-parish diocese, which includes much of west and north Cork, currently has six parishes without full-time priests and has had no ordination since 2007.

Currently, 48 priests below the age of retirement, which is 75 years, are involved in parish ministry. Of these, 11 are in their 70s, five are under 50, and one is under 40.

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