The new priest has said he hopes "to be part of a Church that is more welcoming, inclusive, and open to learning new ways of doing things", according to the Examiner.
Fr Ronan Sheehan was ordained yesterday (Sunday 18th) at St John The Baptist Church in his native parish of Newcestown.
He is the first priest to have been ordained in the diocese of Cork and Ross in its 150 year history, and, at 27 years old, is also the youngest priest in the diocese.
Speaking to Cork's C103 over the weekend, Fr Sheehan spoke of his journey to the priesthood, revealing he'd initially intended to study medicine or law after finishing top of his Leaving Cert class almost 10 years ago. He ended up studying arts at Maynooth (philosophy and theology) and entering the seminary there.
He revealed that his family "weren't surprised" when he announced his plans to become a priest, joking that he was lucky he didn't have a farm to take over. He said that other than weekly Sunday mass and big celebrations around sacraments like First Communions and Confirmations, they aren't an overly religious family.
Fr Sheehan has four sisters, whom he tries to encourage to attend mass more regularly.
When asked how he feels about the future of the church he said he felt a sense of excitement, while also feeling a "bit daunted" as the parish and church he grew up with is changing.
Fr Ronan Sheehan will celebrate his first mass at 7pm tonight.
Header image via corkandross.org