Monsignor Peter Jeffrey has been farewelled as Rector at Auckland’s Holy Cross Seminary. His term was due to finish at the end of the year. ‘I’m sad to be leaving but owing to health reasons I feel it’s best for the Seminary and for me that I return to Australia for medical treatment at this time,’ says Msgr Jeffrey.
‘We are grateful to Msgr Jeffrey for his work at the Seminary over the last three years. He came to us when he was due to retire. Instead he responded willingly to our request to come to New Zealand as Rector of Holy Cross Seminary,’ says Archbishop John Dew, President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.
‘During his time here, he has embraced the culture and the Church here and has contributed greatly to the Seminary,’ says Archbishop John.
‘Msgr Jeffrey’s experience and passion for priesthood have contributed greatly to his work at the Seminary. He brought his many years of experience as both a staff member and rector of two seminaries, and his involvement in Catholic education. He also has great enthusiasm for the new evangelisation and has a proven knowledge of pastoral ministry.
‘While we’re sad to see him leave early, we understand the need to prioritise health and wellbeing. We are deeply grateful for his presence, his wisdom and experience, and all he has brought to the life of the Seminary during his time as Rector. He can be assured of our prayers.’
Msgr Jeffrey says he has enjoyed New Zealand. ‘I’d like to thank all the Seminary staff for their work and support of me and my role. I’d also like to thank all of the seminarians who have passed through the Seminary during this time. I wish them all the very best in their discernment and development of their vocation. They will remain in my prayers as I return to Australia.’
Msgr Jeffrey was ordained at Sacred Heart Cathedral in his home town of Bendigo, Australia, in 1963 and worked as assistant priest at parishes in Beechworth, Cohuna, Heathcote and Shepparton. From 1972, he spent 12 years at Corpus Christi Provincial Seminary in Australia as a staff member and as Rector. In 1985 he joined the Pacific Regional Seminary in Fiji, becoming Rector in 1989.
In 1994 Msgr Jeffrey became Parish Priest at St John’s Catholic Parish in Euroa in Victoria, before joining St Brendan’s in 1995. Msgr Jeffrey has been Chairman of the Sandhurst School Education Board; Director of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria; and Chairman of a Diocesan Ecumenical Commission. He was named Prelate of Honour by Pope John Paul in January 2000.
Simone Olsen is Communications Advisor to the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.