Our Parish Team

Parish Priest

V. Rev. Kevin Rowan,


The Parochial House,

St Patrick's,

Carrickbrennan Road,

Monkstown Co. Dublin


Tel: (01) 538 2542



Ordained Deacon Deacon Eric Cooney
15 Ashton Park
 See special note here
Parish Office Ann Acres
email secretary@monkstownparish.ie
Telephone (01) 538 2542


Our Ordained Deacon

My Ministry as an Ordained Deacon    by Eric Cooney

I was invited by the Parish Pastoral Council to write a short piece on my ministry as a deacon working in the parish.  For those who do not know me, it would make sense that I provide a brief introduction to myself, and to the Order of the Diaconate.

About myself

I am married to Denise and we have two adult children, Leah and Mark.  For the last thirty five years, I have been involved in the Folk Group, of which I was the founding member.  Over the years, I have been involved in a number of areas of the parish, which include the Society of St Vincent de Paul, a Minister of Eucharist and a Reader at Mass.  I was also involved with the Parish Development and Renewal (PDR) group and the Morning Prayer group.  When I was young, I thought briefly about the priesthood, but quickly realised that my calling was for the married life.  Over the last ten to fifteen years, I felt my faith deepen and my thirst for prayer and God grow stronger.

The Permanent Diaconate

 In 2008, during a conversation with a friend, I was asked if I would consider becoming a Permanent Deacon.  I was not familiar with this term.  I had heard of Deacons, but they were men who were in seminaries studying for the priesthood.  I discovered that originally in the early church, there were three distinct orders, Bishops, Priests and Deacons.  In 1967, resulting from the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI in his Apostolic Letter “SACRUM DIACONATUS ORDINEM” restored the Order of Deacon as a Permanent Order.  This opened up the Diaconate to married men, as unlike “transitional” Deacons, we would permanently remain as Deacons and not seek progression to priesthood.

What is a Deacon… What can a Deacon Do?

The most common question I am asked is “What can a Deacon do?”  However, it is more helpful to ask “What is a deacon” rather than to think in terms of the outward “liturgical” functions of a deacon.  The term Diaconate, comes from the Greek word Diakonia, which means “service”.  Like a stool having three legs, there are three ministries in the Diaconate.  These are:  Service of the Altar, Service of the Word, and Service of Charity.

 i.          Altar

  • Assisting the priest at the celebration of the Eucharist

  • Bringing the Eucharist to the sick at home and in hospitals

  • The formation of altar servers and acolytes

  • Presiding at Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

  • The celebration of Baptism

  • Celebrating marriages (with the appropriate delegation)

  • Presiding at funerals

ii.         Word

  • Proclaiming the Gospel at the Liturgy

  • Preaching the homily

  • Participating in sacramental preparation programmes

  • The formation of readers

  • Facilitating study of and prayer with the scriptures

iii.        Charity

  • Facilitating the development of lay ministry

  • Visiting the sick, prisoners and bereaved

  • Youth ministry and the facilitation of peer ministry among young people

  • Promoting awareness of the social teaching of the Church

  • The promotion of justice and human rights


Formation Criteria and Process

The Diaconate is open to men, both single and married.  Single men must be over 25 years of age and married men must be over 35 and under 60 years of age.  Single men must take a vow of celibacy at ordination.  Married men must have the permission of their wives.

The first year is called a propaedeutic year.  This is a Latin term which means “Preparatory Instruction.”  During this time the man aspiring to be a deacon prays to discern whether he has a calling to be a Deacon.  Equally during this year the Formation team are assessing the man.  The year involves residential weekends, interviews, Garda clearance, academic and psychological assessment.

At the end of the propaedeutic year, should one be invited to go forward and continue, the formation is over a five year period; however, you will be ordained after three years.  The formation programme comprises academic, human, spiritual and pastoral formation.

My Ministry to date in Monkstown

I was ordained in June 2012, by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and was appointed by him to serve in Monkstown.  Like all clergy, I can be moved to another parish.  I am blessed to be able to serve in such a warm community.  My main involvement to date has been assisting on the altar, proclaiming the gospel, preaching the homily, presiding over Benediction, Morning and Evening Prayer.  I have baptised over twenty infants, have been involved with three weddings, and a number of funerals.  These have been times of grace and privilege.  It is a privilege to engage with people during such significant moments and to be of service to them and I feel my faith has been deepened and enriched as a result.






Parish Priests through the years - St Patrick's, Monkstown
Robert (Canon) Eaton 1902-1923
John Healy 1923-1925
John (Canon) Fennelly 1925-1934
Laurence (Canon) Sheehan 1934-1956
Joseph (Canon) Matthews 1956-1966
Thomas Barry 1966-1974
Thomas Murphy 1975-1985
Brian Fitzgerald 1985-1990
Thomas (Canon) Randles 1990-1994
Maurice (Canon) O'Moore 1994-2004
Martin Clarke 2004-2009
Michael Coady 2009-2018
Kevin Rowan 2018-