THE youngest priest in Ireland will take up duty in Portlaoise parish next month.
Fr David Vard (25) was ordained in his native Newbridge just over a week ago and will arrive in Portlaoise on Tuesday 1 August.
He was ordained on 25 June by Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Denis Nulty, who has appointed him to serve as a curate in Portlaoise.
During his homily, Bishop Nulty observed: “David will become the youngest priest not only in our diocese but in the country and on these islands. This is a great day of celebration for his family, his friends, Newbridge parish and the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.”
Fr Vard said he had no regrets about entering Maynooth seminary straight after his leaving certificate, commenting: “I think God calls and we respond, whether that is at 18 or the oldest person in my class, who was 64. When we respond, that is the right time.”
As he prepares for life in his first parish, he hopes to become actively involved in Portlaoise community life and to support and promote a wide range of spiritual and social projects in the large and busy parish.