A teen groom, now a 41-year-old grandfather of three, was among six married men who were ordained deacons at the weekend.
He and five others were made permanent deacons on Saturday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo. This most recent round of ordinations follows the Church’s decision five years ago to start re-training deacons.
Wando was accompanied by wife Edilaine and their three children aged 18 to 24.
The new deacons can now officiate at baptisms, weddings, and funerals.
During the ceremony, their wives assisted with vesting them in their stoles and dalmatics.
Another new deacon, David Muldowney, 42, who lives in Ballinameen, Co Roscommon, plans to baptise a friend’s child next week.
A native of Lucan, Co Dublin, he is a father of three and owns a software company.
"My wife Meg, who is an Anglican, was very supportive and she kept me going through it, through all the studying. I suppose we are an ecumenic family," he said.
Frank McGuinness, 42, whose wife Louise is a sister to the Abbess of the Poor Clare’s in Galway, is already working with the Church. He is Elphin diocesan director of youth ministry and safeguarding.
Bishop of Elphin, Christopher Jones thanked God "for the faith and generosity of these men... who despite their responsibilities as husbands, as fathers and as professional men are willing to devote their free time to the service of God".