WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Commissioning Mass for Hospital Chaplains

WelCom September 2018:

Catherine Gibbs and Tony Lenton

‘I was sick and you visited me’, Matt 25:36

Marie Paurini, Kathryn van Woerkom, and Elizabeth Wootton with Cardinal John.

A commissioning Mass for three new Catholic hospital chaplains was celebrated by Cardinal John Dew with seven priests from the archdiocese on 14 August at Ss Peter and Paul Church, Lower Hutt.

Employed by Catholic Social Services, the three chaplains are Elizabeth Wootton based at Wellington Hospital, Kathryn van Woerkom based at Hutt Hospital and Marie Paurini based at Kenepuru Hospital.

Cardinal John prayed that those called to minister in the hospitals become the vessel for God’s compassionate love and protective care.

‘When a Lay Pastoral Leader is appointed to a parish, when a Priest is appointed to a parish, when a Chaplain is appointed to a prison or hospital, they work in the name of the bishop of the diocese. Pastoral care is delegated to them. I have the responsibility to ensure these roles are filled, and that pastoral care is provided in the best way it can possibly be. More importantly they are the presence of Jesus to those who are sick, those struggling, looking for a reason to hope. They are the presence of Jesus to their families too. Because families are often struggling and looking for a sign of hope.’

Cardinal John commissions Elizabeth Wootton, Kathryn van Woerkom, and Marie Paurini as Hospital Chaplains. Each were given a symbol of their ministry to wear while they carry out their service in our hospitals.

In a commissioning rite, Elizabeth, Kathryn and Marie promised their ministry would be a shining example of Christian living in faith and conduct; and that they would strive to grow in holiness through their gifting of ‘humble service’ to those in hospital, including the families affected by the illness of a loved one.

The chaplains were joined by Ecumenical Chaplaincy team colleagues. Reverend Peter Brown the Central Regional Chaplain and CPE Supervisor for the Interchurch Council for Hospital Chaplaincy, gave a reading. Rev Ross Scott, Sr Sia Otuhiva dolc and Rev Kath McLean read the Prayers of the Faithful and other hospital chaplains, assistants and volunteers processed out to the encouraging words of the recessional ‘Servant Song’.

Director of Catholic Social Services, Dave Olivier, thanked Cardinal John, guests, the community of Ss Peter and Paul ‘for their wonderful support, and the musicians and parish staff who made the Mass such a wonderful celebration’.


‘I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you;
Speak the peace you long to hear.’