Tuam prepares for double ordinationSaturday, June 2nd, 2012
The Archdiocese of Tuam will see its first ordinations since 2006 this weekend when Archbishop Michael Neary ordains two young men, one of whom is an Irish American and who will celebrate his first Mass 'as Gaeilge'.
The service on Sunday at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Tuam will see 29-year-old Eugene O'Boyle and 27-year-old Shane Sullivan complete their journey towards priesthood. Rev Shane Sullivan was ordained a deacon on January 29 2012 in Maynooth, while Rev Eugene O’Boyle was ordained a deacon in May 2011.
Eugene O'Boyle is native of Claremorris. He started his studies in Maynooth in August 2006 after completing a degree in Manufacturing Engineering in the University of Limerick. The newly ordained Fr Eugene will celebrate his first Mass on Monday evening in Claremorris Church.
Shane Sullivan is a native of the USA. He studied for the priesthood for his home diocese of Duluth from 2004-2007 when he graduated in arts and philosophy. He then transferred to Tuam Archdiocese in 2007 as he has links with Connemara. His father Bart is a native of Cill Chiaráin, from where he emigrated to the USA in the 1970s and married Kathleen. They now live in Baxter, Minnesota.
The newly ordained Fr Shane will celebrate his first Mass on Monday evening in Cill Chiaráin church 'as Gaeilge'.
Speaking to the Irish Voice ahead of his ordination, Rev Sullivan explained that the Irish language was, "always a big part," of his identity growing up.
"Dad taught us some phrases in Irish, we listened to lots of trad music. Dad and Mom both instilled a pride and love of Ireland and our Irish heritage in us,” he said. Asked about the future of the Church in Ireland, he suggested that it needs, “strong leadership.”
“The church has lost a huge amount of credibility because of the child sex-abuse crisis and being too comfortably entwined with secular powers,” he told the Irish Voice. “There's a huge task any Christian faces in earning Irish society's trust back after such a let-down. It will take nothing less than God's gracious care, coupled with strong leadership and a courageous re-commitment to what we stand for as Catholics.”
Tuam Archdiocese covers a very large area with a mainly rural population. The diocese is bilingual with a number of parishes in the Gaeltacht along with some island parishes. The Catholic population numbers around 120,000 in that area.
Tuam has 108 diocesan priests ordained for service, of whom about 80 are still in active service. There are also eight priests belonging to religious orders working in the diocese. Three other men from Tuam are currently studying for the priesthood.
By Sarah Mac Donald