Permanent Deacons Ordained

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Archbishop Diarmuid Martin ordained a new priest for the Archdiocese of Dublin this bank holiday weekend and eight permanent deacons. This is the first ordination of permanent deacons in Ireland.

On Saturday last, Paul Ludden was ordained a priest in his home parish of Malahide.

The new Fr. Ludden (34) is the youngest of a family of four. Before entering the seminary in Maynooth he studied Business the Institute of Technology in Mountjoy Square and Athlone. He worked for four years in Discount Electrical in Mountjoy Square in Dublin. Fr. Ludden said he applied for the priesthood following a time of serious personal commitment and reflection on his Catholic faith. He was an active member of the Malahide branch of the Legion of Mary. Fr. Ludden is the first priest of the class of 2012 to be ordained this year.

While permanent deacons minister in many other European Churches, this is the first group to be ordained to the diaconate in Ireland. Seven other dioceses around the country have permanent deacons in formation at this time.  Formation to the Diaconate involves four years of preparation for ordained ministry, which includes academic study, spiritual, human and pastoral formation.

The areas of ministry entrusted to deacons fall under three general headings, Altar, Word and Charity.  Deacons can assist the priest at the celebration of the Eucharist; they can celebrate Baptism and marriage and preside at funerals. They will also be facilitating visiting the sick, prisoners and the bereaved and promoting awareness of the social teaching of the church. 

This is a voluntary part-time ministry however if deacons have taken early retirement or reduced their work commitments they may be able to offer a greater time commitment.

The new deacons will work in parish teams in the Archdiocese of Dublin. They will join priests and lay parish pastoral workers in parishes. Dublin was the first Diocese in the country to train and appoint Parish Pastoral workers over four years ago. Today twelve men and twenty women work in parishes throughout the Diocese.  The role of the parish pastoral worker is to work with priests and communities in developing an understanding of faith and to support and develop parish initiatives around prayer and the sacraments.


The eight deacons being ordained to the Permanent Diaconate are:

  • Mr. Eric Cooney, Monkstown, currently working in financial services.
  • Mr. Gabriel Corcoran, Dundrum, currently working as a lecturer in Dublin Institute of Technology.
  • Mr. Gerard Larkin, Templeogue.
  • Mr. Gerard Reilly, Donaghmede, working in financial services
  • Mr. Jim Adams, Bonnybrook
  • Mr. Joe Walsh, Lucan South, retired
  • Mr. Noel Ryan, Ballinteer, retired
  • Mr. Steve Maher, Malahide, semi-retired and former Aer Lingus worker.

Click here to view the Homily notes of Archbishop Martin.