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Christchurch’s new Catholic Bishop to be ordained

On Saturday, 3 March 2018, the Catholic Church will ordain Bishop-Elect Paul Martin SM as the new Bishop of Christchurch.

In December last year, the Vatican announced the appointment of Father Paul Martin SM as the next Bishop of the Christchurch Diocese. He will be the tenth Bishop of Christchurch and succeeds Bishop Barry Jones, who died in February 2016. His Eminence Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, will ordain Bishop-Elect Paul.

The Ordination will take place at Christchurch Boys’ High School Auditorium, with a capacity crowd of up to 1400 people expected to attend, including more than 100 clergy, 50 civic leaders and other Church leaders. The Vatican’s diplomatic representative, Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Martin Krebs will be in attendance.

The Ordination will be followed the next day by Bishop Paul’s Installation at St Mary’s Pro- Cathedral. This is the reception of the bishop in the cathedral church of the diocese, at which he will preside for the first time with the priests and members of the Diocese.

Bishop Patrick Dunn, President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC), said “the ordination of a new bishop is a truly historic moment for the Diocese of Christchurch. I, and the other NZ bishops, are delighted to welcome Bishop Paul as he joins us. Bishops are called to be shepherds of the flock of Christ, and I know Bishop Paul will bring to this work his many personal gifts plus the pastoral experience he has gained during his priestly life thus far.”

Diocesan Administrator, Father Rick Loughnan said, “on behalf of the Diocese, I extend our prayers and good wishes to Bishop-Elect Paul. We look forward to this wonderful occasion of his ordination as he takes his place as our Shepherd.”

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC) is the assembly of the Catholic Bishops of New Zealand coordinating national activities and ministries of the Catholic Church. These include education social justice, Māori advisory, communications and engagement with the public, liturgy, ecumenism, bioethics, interfaith relations, pastoral work in prisons and hospitals, and more.

Ko te Huinga Pīhopa o te Hāhi Katorika o Aotearoa (NZCBC) te kāhui whakahaere o ngā mahi whakapono a-motu me ngā rōpū minita o te Hāhi Katorika. Otirā ngā rōpū mātauranga, tika me te pono, kaitohutohu Māori, whakapaoho whakawhiti whakaaro me te toro atu ki te iwi nui tonu, ritenga o te Hāhi, whakawhanaungatanga o ngā Hāhi, matatika koiora, whakawhanaungatanga o ngā whakapono, mahi minita ki ngā whareherehere me ngā hohipera, oti atu.

Bishop-Elect Paul Martin

He was born in Hastings in 1967 to Ronald and Carmel Martin. He is the eldest of five children.

Receiving his primary education at St Joseph’s in Hastings, he then went on to St John’s College where he stayed until 1984. In 1985, he entered formation for the Society of Mary.

1985 – 1991 Studied at Marist seminaries in Wellington, Palmerston North and Napier

1991 Worked at the Santa Teresa Aboriginal Community, Northern Territory Australia

1993 Completed a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology at the Angelicum University of Rome.

1993 Ordained a priest and the following year attended Teachers’ Training College in Auckland

The then Father Paul Martin taught at Pompallier College Whangarei, St Bede’s in the roles of English and Religious Studies teacher and later as Deputy Rector, Chaplaincy at Hato Poara College, and as teacher at St Patrick’s College, Wellington before becoming the Rector from 2008 – 2013. From 2014 – 2016 he was Assistant Provincial and Provincial Bursar for the Society of Mary in New Zealand, before taking up the position of Bursar General in Rome.

Bishop-Elect Paul has served on boards for St Bede’s, St Patrick’s Wellington and St Patrick’s Silverstream, NZ Teachers Council, Wellington Archdiocesan Board of Administration, NZCEO and has been President of the Wellington Secondary Schools Principals Association.

Bishop Barry Jones

Bishop Barry served as priest in a number of parishes throughout Canterbury and Westland and was Vice Rector of Good Shepherd House in Riccarton and Greymouth. He was ordained as the ninth Catholic Bishop of Christchurch Diocese in 2007.

Christchurch Diocese

The map below shows a map of the parishes in the Christchurch Diocese.

For more information visit: https://chchcatholic.nz/parishes/churches/


Bishops are appointed by the Pope. The pastoral care of a diocese is entrusted to a diocesan bishop (sometimes referred to as the Ordinary of the diocese). An auxiliary bishop assists the diocesan bishop. A coadjutor bishop has the right to succeed the diocesan bishop as Ordinary of the diocese.

Bishops normally offer their resignation to the Holy Father when they reach the age of 75. When their resignation is accepted they become an emeritus archbishop or bishop. There are currently five diocesan bishops, six emeritus bishops in New Zealand.

His Eminence Cardinal John Dew Archbishop of Wellington

Most Reverend Patrick Dunn Bishop of Auckland

Most Reverend Charles Drennan Bishop of Palmerston North

Most Reverend Steve Lowe Bishop of Hamilton
Most Reverend Colin Campbell Bishop of Dunedin

Officers of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference

President: Most Reverend Bishop Patrick Dunn

Vice-President: His Eminence Cardinal John Dew
General Secretary: Most Reverend Bishop Charles Drennan

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