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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

Ordination to the Diaconate – The Reverend Janet Finlay

The Reverend Janet Finlay and Bishop Burrows prior to her ordination


13th SEPTEMBER 2018

The Cathedral Church of Saint Laserian

 The Reverend Janet Finlay was ordained a deacon in the church of God in the Church of Ireland Cathedral Church of Saint Laserian, Old Leighlin, County Carlow on Friday, September 13th 2019.

Ms Finlay is the first trainee to be ordained deacon as part of the new Ordained Local Ministry (OLM) course begun in the Church of Ireland in 2018.

This new ministry, partly born of necessity due to decreasing numbers of available rectors but also of a desire to affirm authentic Call arising from within the local church, will see Ordained Local Ministers, in time to come, be the ‘go-to’ priests in their own parishes while being supervised by a rector or archdeacon in charge of a much larger area.

The Ordained Local Ministry is a collaborative one and involves working voluntarily, without pay.

Janet’s OLM training will continue until she has completed all modules necessary to gain the OLM Open Learning Certificate. She is expected to be ordained a priest in one year’s time. Training for local ministry involves a blended form of lectures, tutorials, workshops, on-line learning and self-study.

The first two parishioners embarked on this training in September 2018 and three more from the diocese began their training this month.

Ms Finlay, whose twin passions are theology and horses, will now pursue her diaconal ministry in the two parishes and localities – Killeshin, Portlaoise/ Ballyfin – which have nurtured her.

There was a large attendance and a warm atmosphere at St Laserian’s for the ordination where Janet’s husband Seamus, son Michael, friends, mentors, clergy colleagues and parishioners gathered to wish her well.

Before the service Bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory, the Right Reverend Michael Burrows, spoke of how it was a big day for the diocese and of how Janet has had a varied and enriching journey through discipleship and ministry.

The preacher was the Reverend David Bayne who spoke of the challenge of change and of how, on this occasion, a new way of ministering to God’s people by calling individuals out of their community was being celebrated.

“It is time to embrace and celebrate the potential in new ministries and tonight, in particular, Ordained Local Ministry,” he said.

He assured Janet of the prayers of her fellow deacons and priests and the love of her community as she answers this call.

“We assure you, also, of the support of the diocese in a ministry that is new, not only to you, but to us. May you be richly blessed in it,” he said.

After the laying on of hands Janet was vested, given a Bible and presented to the congregation to loud applause.

Music for the service included the In Cantorum choir singing Mozart’s Ave Verum under the musical direction of Eileen Doyle. The organist was David Milne. The choir took part in the ordination service as a musical tribute to the late Dean Philip Knowles.

Bishop Burrows also thanked Dean of Leighlin, the Very Reverend Tom Gordon and his parishioners for hosting the service and the many ecumenical friends for being present to wish the new deacon and Ordained Local Minister well.

These included Mrs Vera McHugh, Monsignor Byrne from the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, parish priests Fr Jim O’Connell and Fr Padraig Shelley from Ballon and Arles respectively and also Mr Michael Sherman from the Theology Department in Carlow College.

Refreshments were served in the Lady Chapel in the Cathedral following the service.