County Limerick church to host first ordination

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

BECOMING a father for the first time is nothing unusual but it will be in the village of Castleconnell this Sunday when popular young local man Ger Fitzgerald is ordained at the local church.

BECOMING a father for the first time is nothing unusual but it will be in the village of Castleconnell this Sunday when popular young local man Ger Fitzgerald is ordained at the local church.

He will be the first priest ever to be ordained in St Joseph’s Church and it will be Bishop of Killaloe, Kieran O’Reilly’s first ordination.

Ger, soon to be Fr Ger, will be one of only four priests to be ordained from Maynooth this year.

The 31 year-old stresses that everyone is welcome to attend the ordination mass on Sunday afternoon and his first mass on Monday evening at 7pm.

“It’s an open invitation to everyone. It’s a family event as well as being a church event and the church is all of us,” said Ger, who is from St Flannan’s Terrace.

He says he is excited and nervous about the occasion. “I’m very much looking forward to it - it’s the end of one journey in Maynooth and the start of a whole new one.

“What makes it even more nerve wracking is it is your own people. These are the people who played such an important role in taking me to where I am now.

“Without realising it those people would have played a very important role. I’d be very conscious of that,” said Ger, who had no idea until recently that he will be the first priest ordained in St Joseph’s.

Castleconnell parish priest Fr Brendan Kyne uncovered the fact that Ger will be making history on Sunday.

“Up to 30 years ago most priests were ordained in their seminaries and then in the last 28 to 30 years they were allowed to get ordained in their own parish. There has never been an ordination in that church.

“It will be a great day of celebration – we’re all looking forward to it. There has been a lot of preparation, a lot of wonderful work going on behind the scenes. There is a great sense of goodwill towards Ger in his new role as a priest,” said Fr Kyne.