Dunedin Bishop Michael Dooley is taking some time away from his diocese for personal and spiritual renewal.
In a letter dated May 3 and addressed to his “dear brothers and sisters in Christ”, Bishop Dooley said that he was looking forward to returning after his time away “with new energy and focus”.
Referring to the two years since his ordination and installation as Bishop of Dunedin, Bishop Dooley wrote that he had “been inspired by all the ways that ministry takes place in Otago and Southland”.
“While there have been many blessings that come with being your bishop, it has been a particularly harrowing and testing time for me personally.”
Bishop Dooley added that: “During my time away, Fr Gerard Aynsley as the vicar-general will look after any responsibilities that would ordinarily be undertaken by the bishop.”
Bishop Dooley asked that people keep him in their prayers, as he would keep people in his.
Also in the letter, Bishop Dooley said it was “very heartening to hear of all the ways that priests and people of our diocese have discovered creative new ways to pray and live our Christian vocation during this time of Covid-19 lock down. For many it has been a time of reflection and an occasion of blessing, while also a challenging time for so many who face much uncertainty.”