Papal nuncio ordains priest in Co Cork village of Ballyvourney

Mon, Jul 23, 2012, 01:00

IRELAND’S LONG tradition of providing Catholic priests was recalled yesterday when the papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles J Brown, greeted the latest entrant to the priesthood in the village of Ballyvourney in Co Cork.

Ordaining 26-year-old Fr Damien Lynch from Cúil Aodha in the Múscraí Gaeltacht, the nuncio reminded the new priest of the footsteps in which he was following as he took holy orders at St Gobnait’s Church.

“For 1,500 years Ireland has seen men ordained to the Catholic priesthood and today history has brought us to the moment in which the newest priest, the latest priest in the line stretching back to Patrick and Palladius, will be ordained here in Ballyvourney,” he said.

The nuncio said that with the ordination of a new priest the church continued to live and he and all others present rejoiced in Fr Lynch’s ordination. “A new priest is about to be ordained. The faith continues,” he said.

The first priest to be ordained in four years in the diocese of Cloyne, Fr Lynch is the only child of Gerard and Nora Lynch, who were among the hundreds of people at the church for yesterday’s ceremony.

The 46 parishes of the diocese of Cloyne cover much of Co Cork.

After completing his Leaving Certificate in 2004, Fr Lynch began his studies for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College in Maynooth and graduated from NUI Maynooth in 2007 with a BA in philosophy and Irish.

The first person from Cúil Aodha to be ordained for the diocese in more than 70 years, Fr Lynch has just completed his studies in theology at St Patrick’s and will graduate with a degree in divinity from the university in November.

Fr Lynch said yesterday was a day of which he had dreamed for a long time.

“As long I can remember I have wanted to be a priest – ever since I was a small boy. It’s actually not that unusual: a lot of my classmates in Maynooth have had the same experience,” he said.