Priest ordained during service at Legamaddy

Priest ordained during service at Legamaddy

3 August 2022

A NEW priest welcomed into the Diocese of Down and Connor has celebrated his first Mass.

Father John O’Laverty was ordained into the priesthood at St Patrick’s Church, Legamaddy, on Sunday by Bishop Noel Treanor, before his members of his family, diocesan clergy and parishioners.

Fr John (30), a native of the parish of Bright, attended St Patrick’s Grammar School in Downpatrick before completing a degree in accountancy at Queen’s University Belfast in 2013. 

In 2015 he entered St Malachy’s Seminary, Belfast before attending the Pontifical Irish College, Rome in 2017 where he completed a degree in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

He continued his training at Rome’s Venerable English College, with post-graduate studies in the field of Canon Law and will return to Rome in September to complete his Licentiate studies in Canon Law. 

Leading Sunday’s service, Bishop Treanor said: “For us all, members of the Body of Christ, coming from many different lands and backgrounds, it is a great joy to gather here in this church in Legamaddy in the parish of Bright, dedicated to St Patrick, for the ordination of John O’Laverty.

“To you, Martin and Elizabeth, Fr John’s parents, on behalf of the faithful of our diocese, thank you for the gift of your son. May God reward you and your family.

“On behalf of our local church, I wish to acknowledge and thank all of you who accompanied, guided, inspired and encouraged John throughout the years of his training, study and formation.”

In his homily, Father Martin Graham reflected on the saying: “It takes a village to rear a child,” by stating: “That really struck a chord with me because as John’s neighbour, albeit half a mile away, I have seen John grow and I have seen from where John has grown. It takes a diocese and more to rear a priest. It takes a diocese, it takes a parish, it takes a family.

He also quoted the poet John Donne, and his famous words, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent”. 

“No priest is an island,” he observed. “He may be asked to live alone but he is not alone. He is part of the family of the parish in which he serves, and he is part of the fraternity, the brotherhood, of the clergy of his diocese.

“For John to be effective in his ministry he must remain connected to Christ.”