WelCom August 2019:
Tim Duckworth sm has been elected to become New Zealand Provincial of the Society of Mary, to take office in early 2020. He succeeds David Kennerley sm, who will have served two, three-year terms as Provincial.
In his 37 years of priesthood, Tim has served the Society of Mary and the Church in a wide variety of ministries and apostolates. He was ordained to priesthood by Bishop Ashby of Christchurch in 1982 after completing ten years’ formation at Mount St Mary’s Seminary at Greenmeadows.
His educational qualifications include a Baccalaureate in Theology, an LTCL in speech, a BA in Psychology and Zoology, a Diploma in Teaching and, later, a Masters in Organisation Development from Loyola in Chicago.
Teaching in Society of Mary colleges took up his earlier years of priesthood at St Patrick’s College Silverstream, St John’s College Hastings and St Bede’s College Christchurch.
Since then Tim has worked with religious orders as facilitator at chapters and assemblies, as well as with dioceses, for not-for-profit organisations and in commercial enterprises. He has been part of the Society of Mary’s New Zealand Provincial Council in 1997 and was Vicar Provincial from 2002 to 2004 – a role he returned to in 2016 and which he currently holds along with duties as Provincial Bursar.
Crisis management and experience in professional standards have also been part of Tim’s ministry as well as in continuing education, serving on the boards of St Bede’s College, St Patrick’s College Wellington, Hāto Pāora College Feilding, St John’s College, and on the Good Shepherd College Senate in Auckland.
On returning to Wellington after a sabbatical year in 2005, he resumed duties in facilitation and supervision and working on special projects for the Province in 2006. These included the reconfiguration working party, Youth Ministry and the reorganising of the Logos Project for young people.
When asked about future directions for the Society of Mary in this country, Tim said it is indeed a difficult and challenging time to be in leadership in the Church. ‘Society and the Church face a rapidly changing future and the Marist charism is well suited to these challenging times. Our focus will be on spreading the gospel of justice and charity with mercy and reconciliation and doing so as Mary – Jesus’ first disciple – did. I recognise the faith the Members of the Society have expressed in choosing me for this role.’