HISTORY was made at Magheracross Parish, Ballinamallard, at the weekend, when they welcomed a new deacon for the first time ever.
The now Rev Mark Gallagher was ordained at a packed Magheracross Parish Church during a ceremony attended by Bishop of Clogher Revd John McDowell on Sunday, where the young man from Killyman was officially made a deacon.
Parish rector Rev Brian Harper said all at the parish were very proud to welcome Rev Gallagher, who was formerly a scientific researcher but was heavily involved in his local church, particularly in the field of music with the bright young man regularly singing, and playing the piano, clarinet, organ and saxophone.
“Mark felt, after a period of years, that his sense of calling kept getting stronger and stronger,” said Rev Harper, who said it was unusual in for the church to welcome such a deacon as young as Rev Gallagher, who is in his early 20s. Indeed, when Rev Harper was ordained at the age of 24 he was the youngest in the Church of Ireland.
Rev Gallagher will now stay at Magheracross, which is a parish with 350 families, for the next nine months.
“He will spend his last year of training with us, and then he will move on in nine months time,” said Rev Harper, who added it was the first time the parish had hosted a deacon. “It’s an honour to be selected as a training parish.”
Rev Gallagher will lead worship in his time at Magheracross, and would continue with his academic studies as well as developing his skills while there. After his time in Ballinamallard, where Rev Gallagher has already taken up residence, he will then be ordained a priest.
Stating it was an historic occasion for the parish, Rev Harper said he was confident Rev Gallagher would receive a warm welcome locally during his stay in Fermanagh.
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