Hundreds of worshippers attended a special service of ordination at St Columba’s Parish Church, Omagh, on Sunday last.
It was the largest service of its kind in the Derry and Raphoe Diocese for almost 10 years.
Among the four new Deacon-Interns ordained by Bishop Ken Good was Rev Elizabeth Fitzgerald, who had previously been confirmed and married in St Columba’s. The other candidates were Rhys Jones, Chris MacBruithin and Robert Wray.
The four deacons will continue their studies while they are assigned to their various parishes. Rev Elizabeth Fitzgerald will serve as Deacon-Intern in Donagheady; Rev Robert Wray will go to Christ Church, Culmore, Muff and St Peter’s; Rev Rhys Jones is going to Castledawson, while Rev Chris MacBruithin will serve in St Augustine’s, Londonderry.
Rector of Drumragh with Mountfield Parish, Rev Ian Linton and his team were joined by visitors from parishes and dioceses in Ireland, Britain and as far away as the United States, who joined the families and friends of the new deacons.
Archdeacon of Raphoe, Ven David Huss, preached the sermon and said it had been a long journey for all four and illustrated his sermon with reference to the first reading, taken from Isaiah 6: 1-8. He also prayed that God’s richest blessings would be upon the four new deacons.
The Service continued with the four candidates joining the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Ken Good, on the altar for their declarations of faith and the laying on of hands, when the Bishop prayed that they be given grace and power to fulfil their ministry.
After the service refreshments were served in the church hall and refreshments and speeches were made.
Bishop Good thanked the Rector, Rev Linton, for planning the Service and those who had provided music for the occasion, including the choir, as well as the Church Wardens, and to the ladies and gentlemen who provided refreshments for the scores of well-wishers.