A 28 year-old Stranorlar man will be ordained a Deacon on Sunday, the first Deacon to be ordained in the parish for some time.
Bishop of Raphoe Alan McGuckian will conduct the ordination ceremony in the Church of Mary Immaculate at 3 pm, the penultimate step before Anthony Hartnett becomes a priest.
The Hartnett family moved to Stranorlar ten years ago from Bray in County Wicklow when his parents retired as secondary school teachers.
Anthony this week took the opportunity to share a few words about his journey towards priesthood and extended his thanks and welcome to all who by their prayers, witness and support have helped him.
“I would like to share with you a few things about my life as a member of this parish, seeing as I haven’t had the privilege of getting to know everyone here. Our family moved up to Glebe Hollow ten years ago from Bray after my parents retired from their work as secondary school teachers. I was 18 then and I am the second eldest of a family of eight children.
“The welcome of everyone here has always stayed with me and made it much easier to begin to call Stranorlar home and so I am happy to say that today that I feel very much at home here. We have been so blessed, so much so that my other sisters and their families, have moved up here too,” Anthony said.
Following his move to the parish he met with priests whom he said inspired him: “After two years volunteering with NET Ministries, I began college and, at the same time, began to open my heart to being called to serve God as an ordained priest. In 2016 I began training at the seminary in Maynooth and every summer I had the opportunity to work in a different parish in the diocese. Each new experience helped me to see if, on the one hand, God was actually calling me to priesthood and if, on the other hand, it was for me.
“Among my pastoral placements, my most significant was in the Cathedral parish in Letterkenny and in the Mater Hospital as a trainee chaplain. The Holy Spirit truly speaks in the Church, in prayer and through Her members and through people.
“The Holy Spirit gave me the courage in the end to decide to respond to what I believe is a call from God. But that was made possible thanks to the support and help of everyone I have met on the way. Now I am working with Fr Gerard Cunningham and based in Fintown parish. Not too far from home. It has been wonderful so far. If you can make it to the ordination, I look forward to seeing you on 24th,” he concluded.
In last week’s church newsletter it stated “He would like to extend an invitation to all of us to take part in the ceremony.
“ We hope that many from our Parish will be able to participate in this lovely occasion. We wish Anthony every blessing on his final stage in his preparation for Ordination to Priesthood.”