Listen to an interview with Fergal O’Neill, who is among seven candidates currently in training to become a Permanent Deacon for our Diocese.


[display_podcast] This interview was made available from Religion Matters on  KFM radio

Back Row (L to R) – John Dunleavy (Clane), David O’Flaherty (Carlow Cathedral), Jim Stowe (Newbridge), Fergal O’Neill (Naas), Patrick Roche (Leighlin)

Front Row (L to R) – Gary Moore(Rhode), Joe O’Rourke (Graiguecullen)

Permanent Diaconate

The diaconate is an ordained ministry which traces its origins back to Apostolic times. As part of a process of renewal of ministries in the Church, both lay and ordained, the Second Vatican Council decided to restore the diaconate as a distinct ministry.

Permanent deacons are not ‘substitute priests’, nor are they intended to take the place of religious, or of lay ministers.

It is permanent in the sense that it is not simply a stage on the way to priesthood, and those who are ordained will serve as deacons. The principal responsibilities of the deacon is to exercise a ministry of charity; to proclaim the Gospel; assist the priest at the celebration at the Eucharist and at the celebrations of baptism and marriage; and, to preside at funerals.

It is open to married and single men to apply.  A married man who is ordained a deacon is expected to honour his marriage commitment. The Church will not ordain the man unless his wife gives her consent in writing. Deacons who are widowed must also observe the norm of celibacy. However, the widow of a deacon may marry with the Church’s blessings.

Single men ordained to the diaconate, whether preparing for the priesthood or not, must take a vow of celibacy. They are not allowed to marry.


Applications for the permanent diaconate are now closed in this diocese and will re-open again the present candidates have completed their training.

K&L Vocations Director

If you have an interest in finding out more about the path to priesthood in this diocese, you are very welcome our Diocesan Vocations Director

Rev. Ruairi O’Domhnaill

Ballymany, Newbridge, Co. Kildare
Tel: 045-434069