Double ordination heralds renewal in Mid Ulster

Reverends Aidan McCann and Brian Slater pictured last year at their ordination as deacons
Reverends Aidan McCann and Brian Slater pictured last year at their ordination as deacons

The ordination of two local men to the priesthood on Sunday will mark an historic day for the Mid Ulster area of Armagh Diocese.

Archbishop Eamon Martin will lead the special ceremony at St Patrick’s Cathedral, blessing Coalisland man Brian Slater and Cookstown native Aidan McCann with the holy vows of priesthood.

The two-hour long sacrament will mark the final milestone in a long journey for the two men, who were ordained as deacons last June.

The ordinations also herald a much-needed renewal in vocations after a ten-year long drought in the local area.

Reverend Slater is the first priest to be ordained from the Coalisland and Stewartstown parish in a decade.

A native Coalisland man, Brian was born some 44 years ago, the son of Sean and Joan, his sadly deceased but fondly remembered parents, and brother to Siobhan, Roisin, Colm, Paul and the late Martin and Stephen.

A spokesperson for the parish said: “This is a proud and special day for the Slater family as they see the culmination of many years of discernment and hard work by their brother, and it is with joy in his happiness that they hand him over to God’s service.

“But it is a proud day also for the parish of Coalisland. The community of Coalisland and Stewartstown are excited and joyous as they see one of their own, a friend and neighbour offer himself to this sacred service.

“At this time our thoughts are focused on that priesthood, as we invoke the blessing of the Holy Spirit on Brian and Aidan as they begin their ministry.”

Reverend Slater will say his first Mass on Monday at 7pm in the Church of the Holy Family, Coalisland.

There will be a reception afterwards in the parochial centre to celebrate the event.