Clergy moves in Wellington and Dunedin

Wellington Cardinal John Dew and Dunedin Bishop Michael Dooley have announced the following clergy appointments in their respective dioceses.

Cardinal Dew appointed Fr Ron Bennet as moderator of Sacred Heart Cathedral parish. Fr David Dowling will remain in residence, while studying to become the director of formation for Holy Cross Seminary.

Fr Bill Warwick will be the new parish priest of Holy Trinity parish, Wellington East, as the Capuchin Friars leave Wellington after 62 years of ministry there.

“We give heartfelt thanks for the presence of the Capuchins for so long in the archdiocese,” Cardinal Dew said.

Fr Andrew Kim was appointed parish priest of St Theresa’s, Plimmerton, and archdiocesan vocations director.

Fr Paul Finlayson, SCC, will become assistant parish priest of Our Lady of the Bays, Tasman District, in Motueka, while Fr Raymond Soriano will become a member of the pastoral team at Te Awakairangi parish in the Hutt Valley.

Holy Family, Nelson/Stoke, will have Fr Joy Thottankara as their parish priest. Fr Dennis Nacorda was appointed parish priest of St Mary’s and St Joseph, Otaki/Levin, with Fr Alan Roberts being priest in residence in Otaki.

Cardinal Dew said Fr Sanele Finau will be retiring from active ministry.

The cardinal also said the archdiocese has been awaiting two new priests from the Passionist community for Our Lady Star of the Sea parish in Marlborough for almost a yea,r but they have not been able to attain religious worker visas because of the closing of New Zealand borders due to Covid-19.

“It is hoped that they will soon be able to join the community,” the cardinal said.

The cardinal also said they have been negotiating with the provincial of the Society of the Divine Word to establish a second community in the archdiocese.

“They will eventually be appointed to the parish of Te Awakairangi (probably in about a year’s time). This will mean that the SVDs will work in adjacent parishes, and will be able to support each other and share ministries across the Lower Hutt/Wainuiomata area,” he said.

Cardinal Dew asked the parishioners to keep in their prayers the seminarians Alfred Tong, Matthew White, Kinh Nguyen, Emilio Capin and Gerson Badayos.

The changes in Wellington archdiocese will take place from February 1, 2021.


N In Dunedin, Bishop Dooley appointed Fr Fredy Permentilla, MSP, as parish priest of St Joseph’s Cathedral.

“He will take on this appointment, in addition to his duties as parish priest in the Hills Suburbs Pastoral Area,” the bishop said.

He also appointed Msgr John Harrison as assistant priest in residence in St Joseph’s Cathedral parish, and he will remain living in the Cathedral presbytery.

The appointments will be effective from the weekend of 23/24 January, 2021.

Bishop Dooley also announced the pastoral placements for seminarians.

Joseph Nguyen will serve in the Gore Pastoral Area, residing in the Gore presbytery.

Suu Nguyen’s pastoral placement is to the North Invercargill Pastoral Area, and he will be residing in the Waikiwi presbytery.

The two seminarians will begin their pastoral placement in early February and continue until Christmas, 2021.

Meanwhile in Christchurch, priests will be remaining in their parishes as the parish amalgamations are implemented.

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NZ Catholic Staff

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