What's Your Story? - Rev. Colm Hagan

"I embarked on formation for the priesthood in 2015 at the age of 37 having spent over a decade in professional life. In the course of my work as a barrister I gradually discerned with the support of others that God may be calling me to serve His Church as a priest. With trust in the Lord I took up Archbishop Martin’s invitation to begin my training at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome.

I spent five years in the Eternal City following a programme that treated the spiritual, intellectual, pastoral and human dimensions of preparation for sacred ministry. As to studies, I was able to undertake two years of a philosophy course at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas before completing a three year degree in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Rome provided a stimulating environment in which to deepen my attachment and commitment to the Catholic faith while also offering a unique insight into the universality of the Church. This phase of my formation also included successive summer placements in the Archdiocese of Armagh which afforded me the opportunity to become better acquainted with parish life. At the conclusion of my time in Rome I had been instituted into the ministries of Lector and Acolyte – necessary steps on the path to ordination.

Upon my return to Ireland in 2020 I was formally admitted as a candidate for Holy Orders. I
then commenced a ‘Pastoral Year’ experience in the Cathedral Parish, Armagh. In tandem with assisting in the parish I pursued a course in pastoral theology which included a module in Clinical Pastoral Education. After I had made a public profession of faith and taken an oath of fidelity I was ordained a deacon by Archbishop Martin in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord – 16 May 2021. It was a day of profound joy as I marked the transition to the clerical state by taking on important commitments before God and His people.

Since September 2021 I have been based in the Parish of Donaghmore and have been exercising my diaconal ministry throughout The Martyrs Pastoral Area. My duties have included assisting at Holy Mass; proclaiming the Gospel; preaching; celebrating the sacrament of Baptism; as well as making school and home visitations.

My vocation journey has taken the form of a gradual awakening of conscience. In the search
to know how best to serve God I have come to appreciate ever more clearly the indispensable
role of the priest as a mediator who, by transmitting the truths revealed by God and by acting
as an instrument to confer His grace, can help lead man to his final end – the everlasting
happiness of heaven. To recognise this supernatural role is also to acknowledge the dignity
and responsibility with which the sacred priesthood is invested. The experience of such a
calling can prompt feelings of unworthiness and even trepidation. However, by abandoning
oneself to God in a spirit of humility it is possible to answer the Divine Master’s call with
serenity and prayerful trust.

In considering and then following the path to priesthood I have been blessed to benefit from
the loving support of my family and relatives. I am also immensely grateful for the ongoing
prayerful accompaniment of the priests and people of my native parish of Drumcree and
others from further afield. Having recourse to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary has
likewise been a constant source of strength for me during recent years. As I engage with this
final stage of formation I pray that in time – God willing – I will be privileged to share in the
tasks of teaching the faith, sanctifying souls and shepherding God’s people as a priest of
Jesus Christ."
Rev. Deacon Colm Hagan




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