EMMITSBURG, Md. — Ronald John Farrell, a third-year theology student at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary, was ordained to the transitional diaconate by Archbishop John F. Donoghue of the Archdiocese of Atlanta during a recent Mass in the Chapel of Immaculate Conception at Mount Saint Mary’s College and Seminary.
The newly ordained deacon is entering his final year at the seminary.
Farrell, the son of the late Lenard and Ruth Farrell, is a graduate of Horry Georgetown Tech Community College in Conway.
Seminarians become transitional (as opposed to permanent) deacons as one of the final steps in their progression toward ordination for the priesthood. As a deacon, Farrell will “help the bishop and his body of priests as ministers of the word, of the altar, and charity,” according to The Roman Pontifical.
“He will make himself a servant to all,” it continues. “As a minister of the altar he will proclaim the Gospel, prepare the sacrifice, and give the Lord’s body and blood to the community of believers.”
Deacons have a number of other specific responsibilities, but the ordination also represents a renewed consecration to Christ on the part of each man: “By his life he will give witness that God must be loved above all else …”
Nearly three dozen other Mount Saint Mary’s seminarians will be ordained to the diaconate this year, but most of the ordinations take place in the seminarian’s home diocese.
Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary is the second oldest and one of the largest Catholic seminaries in the United States.