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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

Ordination of The Reverend Ciaran Kavanagh


A Day of Celebration in Wexford 

The Reverend Ciarán Kavanagh was ordained a priest for the Church of Ireland’s Ordained Local Ministry (OLM) in St Iberius Church, Wexford by The Right Reverend Adrian Wilkinson, Bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory on Sunday afternoon, January 8th. 

A Diocesan Reader since 2005 Ciarán is the fifth trainee of the new Church of Ireland Ordained Local Ministry (OLM) training course to be ordained priest in this diocese.

Bishop Adrian Wilkinson, leading the service on the day of the Baptism of our Lord, said it was a wonderful privilege and pleasure to be there on a day of joy and celebration as Ciarán is ordained priest in the Church of God.

“Baptism is the start of ministry for us all,” he said, “and we are all asked to offer our gifts to God and our talents, and by virtue of our baptism, God calls us to ministry and to service.

We are here today to join in celebrating with Ciarán who has answered that call that began all those years ago at baptism,” he continued.

The preacher at the service, Canon Nicola Halford, Rector of Enniscorthy & Monart Union of Parishes, also spoke of how this was a real day of celebration for Wexford and Kilscoran Union.

“Ciaran already knows and loves you,” she told the congregation. “And you already know and love him. He already knows how to find all nine of your churches. He knows how this community works, how you like to celebrate your joys, how you support each other in sorrow. He already understands the parochial context of ministry in Wexford.  He is one of you!”

She wished him a long and fruitful ministry in Wexford where, as an Ordained Local Minister, he will work alongside the Rector, The Reverend Norman McCausland, as part of the ministry team.

“Priestly ministry is truly an honour and a privilege with moments of great joy,” she said, “but it can also, at times, be demanding and heart breaking. Lean on the community here who love and support you,” she told Ciarán. “As you minister to them, let them minister to you.”

She also reminded the congregation that we should all be open to being called to serve.

“Not everyone will feel called to ordained ministry,” she said, “but everyone is called to something, be it reading, singing, Sunday school, youth ministry, administration, technology and online services… the possibilities are endless. Through Baptism, each one of us have been gifted the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives,” she said.

While we may not feel that we have what it takes, God does, she added.

Ciarán, a former Irish Army commandant and retired primary school principal, was presented for ordination by his sponsors, his daughter Elizabeth, his son David, his sisters Maeve Dunne and Paula Creeber.  His wife, Berna Rackard, sang in the choir.

Lessons were read by Francoise Davison, Victoria Hawkins and The Reverend Ger James (Carlow).

Ordained Local Ministry is a collaborative one and involves working voluntarily. Training encompasses a blended form of lectures, tutorials, workshops, on-line learning and self-study.  While OLMs serve in their own parishes and local areas after they are ordained firstly to the diaconate and then to the priesthood (after further study), they will be supervised during their ministry by a rector or archdeacon in charge of a much wider area.

The organist was Dr Jeffrey Cox and hymns sung were God is here! As we his people, Brother, sister, let me serve you, Be Thou My Vision and Ye Servants of God, your master proclaim. Choral pieces were Ave Verum by Edward Elgar and Veni Creator Spiritus by Thomas Attwood.

Refreshments were served in the church after the service.