New Joint Diocesan Directors of Ordinands Announced for Dublin & Glendalough
The Revd Suzanne Harris and the Revd Tom O’Brien have been appointed joint Diocesan Directors of Ordinands for Dublin & Glendalough. Diocesan Directors of Ordinands (DDOs) help people to discover their gifts and use them in the Church. Suzanne and Tom take up the role in succession to Canon Adrienne Galligan who has stepped down from the position having completed her five year term.
Both Suzanne and Tom’s routes to ordination have not followed the traditional paths.
The Revd Suzanne Harris is Priest in Charge of the Parishes of Castlemacadam, Ballinaclash and Aughrim in the Diocese of Glendalough. Her working life started as a religion teacher and then school chaplain, a role she held for 29 years. She was ordained for non–stipendiary ministry in 2009. She helped out in Booterstown and Mount Merrion Parishes for 11 years until she felt called to full time ministry. She completed the Transfer Course in the Church of Ireland Theological College in 2020 and began full time ministry in June 2021.
The Revd Tom O’Brien is a Self–Supporting Minister in the Holmpatrick Group of Parishes in the Diocese of Dublin. He has been working in health services for 30 years and has had the privilege of leading local and national projects in Addiction, Mental Health, and Primary Care. Tom was ordained to the priesthood in September 2018 and continues with his day job while supporting his parish.
Announcing the appointment, Archbishop Michael Jackson, said he was delighted that both clergy had agreed to take on the role.
“I wish to pay tribute to the untiring work of Canon Adrienne Galligan as Diocesan Director of Ordinands. I am delighted to say that the Revd Suzanne Harris and the Rev’d Tom O’Brien have agreed jointly to take on this role in succession to Canon Galligan. I wish them everything that is best as they do this and have every confidence in their infectious capacity to facilitate people in discerning and living out their ministerial gifts in whatever appropriate contexts,” he said.
The Revd Suzanne Harris said she was honoured when the Archbishop asked her to take on the role and was looking forward to working with the Revd Tom O’Brien again.
“I can still remember the wonderful encouragement and great advice that I received from the Director of Ordinands when I was exploring the path to Ordination back in 2004 and also the compassionate support of fellow ‘searchers’ and friends at the ‘Fellowship of Vocations’ as the meetings were then known,” she commented.
“In 2021, there are so many new and varied ways to be involved in Ministry and Tom and I are looking forward to meeting those who are questioning, searching and exploring. We hope to journey with them as together we explore the many different avenues, paths and aspects of ministry today. Most of all we are looking forward to meeting people who wish to serve God in their lives and we ask for your prayerful support for us in our new roles,” she added.
The Revd Tom O’Brien expressed his thanks to Archbishop Jackson for entrusting he and Suzanne with the opportunity to share the role of Directors of Ordinands.
“It is such an honour and privilege to support individuals who are exploring the possibility of ordination in the Church of Ireland. I am sure that Suzie and I will bring new and diverse perspectives to the role based on our own unique and individual experiences on the road to ordination,” he said.
“I love my ‘day job’ and am happily able to act on God’s call while maintaining my HSE career by becoming a Self–Supporting Minister. There are many innovative and flexible ways of being actively involved in ministry and I look forward to working closely with Suzie and those who are interested in exploring what God has in store for them,” Tom concluded.
If you would like to explore ministry in the Church of Ireland please contact your local Rector in the first instance.