Father Mathew Vadakkevettuvazhiyil will be the next rector of Holy Cross Seminary in Auckland.
The appointment has been confirmed by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. Fr Mathew will succeed the present Rector, Fr Brendan Ward, at the end of 2021.
Fr Mathew is widely known as a parish priest in Auckland Diocese. He is currently a priest at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Epsom, Auckland. From the beginning of February, he will be parish priest at Holy Cross, Papatoetoe before starting his seminary role at year’s end. He was parish priest at St Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Avondale, Auckland, from 2013 to June 2020.
Fr Mathew was born in Kerala, India in 1960 and ordained a priest there in 1992 with the Society of St Francis de Sales (Salesians of Don Bosco). He was a missionary, teacher and administrator at Salesian education institutes in Tanzania and Kenya, and an assistant parish priest and administrator in Kenya, until coming to New Zealand in 2009, serving in several Auckland parishes before his 2013 St Mary’s appointment.
As a diocesan priest in Auckland, Fr Mathew is deputy chair of the Justice and Peace Commission, and a member of the Council of Priests and College of Consultors.
Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington and President of the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference, welcomed the announcement on behalf of the bishops of Aotearoa New Zealand.
“We congratulate Fr Mathew, offer him our prayerful support, and will give him the practical support he needs.”
Holy Cross Seminary (HCS) is the national seminary for the education and formation of diocesan priests for the Catholic Church in New Zealand.