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

New appointments

WelCom February 2018:

Pope Francis appoints new Bishop of Christchurch

Bishop-elect Paul Martin – the tenth Bishop of Christchurch. Photo: Supplied

Pope Francis has appointed Fr Paul Martin sm as the Bishop of the Christchurch Catholic Diocese. Bishop-elect Paul Martin will be the tenth Bishop of Christchurch and succeeds Bishop Barry Jones who died in February 2016.

Announcing the appointment last December, Bishop Patrick Dunn President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference said, ‘We are delighted Bishop-elect Paul has accepted the call to this special ministry. On behalf of all the New Zealand Bishops I warmly welcome him to our New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference. He will bring a new voice and a valuable perspective to our discussions.’

Bishop-elect Paul was born in Hastings in 1967, one of five children. He entered formation for the Society of Mary in February 1985 and studied in theology and arts at Victoria University in Wellington. He has taught English and Religious Education in New Zealand and has held several education roles, including Rector at St Patrick’s College, Wellington, and Deputy Director in Pastoral Care at St Bede’s College, Christchurch.

Bishop-elect Paul has served on boards for St Bede’s, St Patrick’s, NZ Teachers Council, Wellington Archdiocesan Board of Administration; he has been President of the Wellington Secondary Schools Principals Association and has been a part of the Marist community when it was working in Māori pastoral care at Rawene in the South Hokianga.

Bishop Dunn said, ‘It is wonderful for Christchurch to receive a Bishop who has worked with a range of communities, has extensive pastoral experience and comes to the role with a wealth of knowledge and expertise.’

Sharing the announcement with Palmerston North Diocese parishioners, Bishop Charles Drennan said, ‘Bishop-elect Paul Martin is known to a good few of us as he is a son of Hawke’s Bay. We too echo the happiness of his mother, Carmel, of our Hastings parish, and of his siblings and many relatives who live in the area.

‘Bishop-elect Paul was educated at St Joseph’s School and St John’s College in Hastings. He has been a teacher of English and RE in a number of colleges, was for a few years on the pastoral staff of Hāto Pāora College. Most recently he has been the Bursar General of the Marists at their Rome headquarters.

‘I know Bishop-elect Paul as a very capable and affable man. He is a strong leader, kind and does not shy from decision making. Having been immersed so long in the education apostolate, he knows well the pastoral challenges we all face passing on the gift of our faith in contemporary society and culture.

‘I have passed on to Bishop-elect Paul our congratulations from the Diocese of Palmerston North.

‘Please pray for Bishop-elect Paul as he prepares for his episcopal consecration in the new year.’

On the news of his appointment, Bishop-elect Paul said, ‘I’d like to express what a privilege it is to be chosen to serve in the Diocese of Christchurch as Bishop, following in the footsteps of those before me. I’m really looking forward to taking up this ministry and leading the Diocese.’

Fr Rick Loughnan has been the administrator of the Christchurch diocese following the passing of Bishop Barry Jones. Fr Rick said, ‘We are delighted with the appointment by Pope Francis and welcome Bishop-elect Paul with open arms.’

Bishop-elect Fr Paul Martin sm will be ordained as the tenth Bishop of Christchurch on Saturday 3 March.


Pōwhiri for Catholic Social Services’ New Director

Lisa Beech

The Archdiocese of Wellington welcomed its new Catholic Social Services Director David Olivier and his wife Jenni with a pōwhiri at the Compassion Centre Soup Kitchen in Wellington, on 15 December 2017.

The pōwhiri included a karanga by Whaea Rangireremoana Hau.

Cardinal John Dew and David Olivier greet each other with a hongi.

Cardinal John Dew, Mons Gerard Burns, Mrs Lesley Hooper (former CSS Director), and Deacon Danny Karatea-Goddard also welcomed David and Jenni and their support group of staff and students from St Peter’s College, Palmerston North. Mr Olivier was principal of St Peter’s College for nine years.

Mr Olivier has a background of 39 years in education, 20 of which were as a principal. He taught at St Patrick’s College, Silverstream, where he was Deputy Rector and at Upper Hutt College.

Mr Olivier said, ‘It was wonderful to be received into the archdiocesan community and at Compassion House. For me it was very difficult leaving the St Peter’s community, but it was very good to be welcomed here – it has given me an immediate sense of belonging.’

Mr Olivier was born in South Africa to a Welsh family. When he was conscripted into the South African military, he rediscovered his Catholic faith. Prior to coming to New Zealand he was principal of the Christian Brothers College at Mount Edmund in Pretoria.

Mr Olivier is known as a man who sees and cares for people. He was involved in setting up the Talent Central Trust to bridge the gaps between Manawatu’s secondary schools, tertiary institutes and the business community. The programme enables a pathway for students’ to undertake future studies and employment in the region.

Mr Olivier begins his role at CSS as the Archdiocese begins to implement the 2017 Synod recommendations. ‘The Synod recommendations are the roadmap for the future for the services of Catholic Social Services and contain some great challenges for us. And this could bring about some really significant changes for us to meet’, Mr Olivier said.

Lisa Beech works for Catholic Social Services.

Pictured after the pōwhiri, front (l–r): Danny Karatea-Goddard; Lesley Hooper; Jenni and David Olivier; Cardinal John Dew; and ADW General Manager, Paul Bayliss. Back: supporting staff and students from St Peter’s College. Photos: Annette Scullion/WelCom


New Director for Church’s National Office of Professional Standards

Amanda Gregan

Virginia Noonan, new NOPS director. Photo: Supplied

The Catholic Church in New Zealand’s National Professional Standards Committee, has appointed Virginia Noonan as the new director for the National Office of Professional Standards (NOPS).

Current director, Bill Kilgallon, who is retiring later this month, has been in the role since 2013. He has been responsible for handling complaints from anyone who says they have been abused by a priest or member of a Catholic religious order New Zealand; as well developing and planning strategies for preventing future abuse.

Ms Noonan, a former Christchurch lawyer and mother of two, recently worked as the inaugural safeguarding co-ordinator for the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch. She takes up her new role in early 2018.

NOPS is an agency of the ‘Mixed Commission’ – a partnership between the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and the Congregation Leaders Conference of Aotearoa New Zealand. It sets out the strategic direction for the Church’s safeguarding policy for children, young people and adults at risk. It is also responsible for monitoring and auditing the compliance of dioceses and religious orders with these safeguarding principles and procedures. NOPS responds to all complaints of abuse in the Catholic Church and manages the complaints procedure.

Ms Noonan has been involved in a range of organisations, including private legal practice, directorships on local and national boards, and as a government consultant in statutory management and governance facilitation roles.

Committee chair Mr Phil Hamlin said, ‘We are delighted Virginia will take up the position, building on the good work done to date by Bill Kilgallon. While new to the role, Virginia has a good understanding of the issues, having worked with Bill in her capacity as a one of the six, diocesan safeguarding leaders.’

Ms Noonan said, ‘I am clear safeguarding is not simply an issue of compliance, but is an integral part of the life and ministry of the Church. As every person has been created in the image and likeness of God, we have a duty to value and safeguard all people within our Church community.’

Expressing his gratitude for Bill Kilgallon’s several years’ work as director Mr Hamilin said, ‘Bill has been a real asset to the office with his considered, objective and compassionate approach. I acknowledge his tirelessness in seeking accountability, justice and forging a path for healing and I wish him all the best for a busy and fulfilling retirement.’

Amanda Gregan is communications adviser, NZ Catholic Bishops.