Trinity graduate ordained to priesthood after forgoing a career in pharmacy

 Bishop of Cloyne William Crean with Patrick O'Donoghue, who was ordained to the priesthood at St Colman's Cathedral, Cobh. Picture: Dan Linehan

A Trinity graduate has turned his back on a career in pharmacy to serve God.

Patrick O’Donoghue, 35, from Castlemartyr in East Cork, was ordained to the priesthood yesterday during a ceremony led by Bishop William Crean, the Bishop of Cloyne, in St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh.

“I wouldn’t be doing this unless I felt there was something worthwhile in Christianity,” Fr Patrick said. “I wouldn’t be doing any of this if it wasn’t for the joy, peace and contentment I get from the relationship I have with God.”

Born in Apr 1978, Fr Patrick attended Youghal Presentation Convent NS, Youghal CBS NS and Castlemartyr NS, and Midleton CBS Secondary School.

He completed his Leaving Cert in 1995 and graduated with a degree in pharmacy from Trinity in 2003, before working in the pharmaceutical industry and in community pharmacy, working as a chemist in Dublin and Cork.

He said that as a child he never thought about being a priest but began to explore and deepen his faith when he moved to Dublin.

He undertook his first period of study for the priesthood from 1998 to 2002, before taking time out to work in pharmacy. But the call to the priesthood remained and Fr Patrick said he felt he had to be honest with himself.

“The more I prayed, the more certain I became that I wanted to be a priest,” he said.

He returned to study for the priesthood in 2009, undertaking his undergraduate studies in theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and graduating with a baccalaureate in divinity in 2010, before studying at the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, graduating with a licentiate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 2013.

During his time in the seminary, he undertook pastoral placements, including a year in the parish of Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

He was ordained to the Diaconate on Apr 2 in the Basilica of Saints John and Paul in Rome by Archbishop Dermot Clifford.

His proud parents, David and Maura O’Donoghue, his brothers Barry, 36, David, 32, Stephen, 30, and sister Grace, 28, watched yesterday as he was ordained.

He is awaiting his appointment in the Diocese of Cloyne and will celebrate his first Mass at 7pm tonight in the Church of the Sacred Heart, Mogeely. The Diocese of Cloyne has three other men training for priesthood.

* Anyone interested in applying to study for priesthood in Cloyne should contact their local priest or Fr Patrick Relihan at 024 92456.


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