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THE parish of Oranmore will celebrate its first ordination this weekend as a local Galway man is to join the priesthood.

Declan Lohan from the Coast Road in Oranmore is to be ordained to the priesthood, for service in his home diocese (Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora), this Sunday, 23 July in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Oranmore at 3pm.

Since, at present, there is no bishop in the diocese, Bishop Brendan Kelly from Achonry, who is a native of Craughwell, has been  invited to be the principal celebrant.  Canon Michael McLoughlin, the Diocesan Administrator, together with approximately 60 priests will also participate.

Declan is the son of Matt and Mary Lohan.  The family run a woodwork and joinery company at Carnmore.

He attended Scoil Iósaif Naofa Primary School and Calasanctius College in Oranmore, before completing degrees in both Arts and Law at NUI Galway.

After a gap year teaching English in China, Declan studied law at King’s Inns, Dublin and qualified as a barrister in 2008.

In his spare time prior to entering seminary he worked as a volunteer with the Legion of Mary and with Youth 2000 in Dublin, Galway and on missions in England and France.

Declan began his training for the priesthood in 2007 in Toulon, France, returning to complete his studies at St. Patrick’s College, Marynooth.

In preparing for his big day, Declan gives much of the credit for his vocation to the example of many people he has encountered in his life including his family, his teachers, his neighbours and his friends.

“God put many good, virtuous, prayerful people in my path.  They have helped me to know God and choosing the path to priesthood has made me deeply happy.”

Oranmore Parish Priest Fr. Diarmuid Hogan said, “Over the past few weeks the entire community here has rallied in support and preparation for this great day.  We are well aware that it is an historic one for our parish and for our diocese. We are proud of our neighbour and friend Declan and we will forever keep him in our prayers.”

The newly ordained Fr. Declan will offer his First Mass in Oranmore Church on Monday, 24 July at 7pm.

All are welcome both to the Ordination and the First Mass.

After his ordination Fr. Declan will await his first appointment as a priest of the diocese, which will be taken up in mid-August.