Three Men Make First Vows as Presentation Brothers

African drums echoed through the Church of the Resurrection in Killarney on Saturday (7th September) during a special ceremony which saw three men make their first vows as Presentation Brothers.

Sebastian Dery (26), Leonard Derbie (33) and McSimon Azenda (34) made vows of poverty, chastity and obedience before Brother Martin Kenneally, the Congregation Leader of the Presentation Brothers. The ceremony was attended by a large congregation of local people and well wishers.

The three men who are from Ghana and Nigeria have been studying at the Presentation Brothers Novitiate in Killarney since June. Their training programme involved a three month multicultural experience in Ireland.  

During their time in Killarney the three men have been involved in their local community. Brother Leonard served as volunteer with the Kerry Parents and Friends Association while Brother McSimon and Brother Sebastian helping with the Kerry Diocesan Youth Service.  The Brothers also read at daily Mass in the local Franciscan Friary.

All three men have studied and worked in other jobs before entering the order. Brother McSimon, from Benue State in Nigeria, is qualified in maths and statistics while Brother Sebastian, from the north of Ghana, worked previously as a plumber and gas technician. Brother Leonard, also from the north of Ghana, worked as a teacher before joining the Brothers.

The men admitted that Ireland took some getting used to. “The weather in Ireland is the first thing an African notices about Ireland!” laughed Br McSimon. “The recent heat wave reminded me of home though!”

 “People in Ireland are very busy,” observed Br Sebastian, “It is a challenge to speak about God in a culture where people have so many other distractions.”

The changing nature of the Church in Ireland struck Br Leonard. “Missionaries came from Ireland to Africa in the past,” he said. “Now, I can see how missionaries will come here from Africa in years to come.”

Brother Barry Noel, the Novice Master for the Presentation Brothers in Killarney, said that the men had brought great life to the Brothers’ community in Killarney. “These are well qualified young men and it is very encouraging to see them take this step in religious life. Following the gospel as religious brothers is a challenge but it is also very rewarding.

“Today we had three African men make first professions. Last year two Sri Lankan men were received into our novitiate here in Killarney. I encourage any men who are interested in religious brotherhood to get in touch. They can reach me at or visit our website for more information at”

The three newly professed Brothers will return to Ghana later this month


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