Archbishop Paul Martin, SM, was installed as Archbishop of Wellington in a special Mass on Saturday, June 17, at St Teresa’s Pro-Cathedral in Karori.
In his main homily, Archbishop Martin said that it was a blessed bonus that the installation coincided with the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“Mary is a living example of what love looks like,” he said. “A woman of deep love too for God and for us. I do feel blessed to be taking up this calling as Archbishop of Wellington on this day, under the mantle of the immaculate heart of Mary, as I begin this vocation of service to the Church of the Archdiocese of Wellington.
“My hope is that through this I will grow in my own holiness and closeness to God along with all the people who I have the privilege of serving.”
In a post-communion homily and thanks to everyone who helped on his road to the archbishop’s chair, Archbishop Martin said that the Church doesn’t exist in some ethereal domain without bodies and people who have lives, with all the joys and sorrows that make it up.
“I am very aware that we are the Church together,” he said. “If the Church is going to do anything, it has to be we who do it. We can’t be waiting for some magical other to do it, it is us – you and me, with our hangups and foibles, our talents and skills.
“This is what I am looking forward to working with you all on for the future of our Church in the archdiocese, and indeed for Aotearoa New Zealand. We are living in challenging times, but the Good News is still that, and I have great trust in God at work in our world, and through each one of us.”
Archbishop Martin was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Wellington in January, 2021, to assist and eventually replace Cardinal John Dew, who retired last month on reaching his 75th birthday.
Previously, Archbishop Martin was the Bishop of Christchurch, having been appointed there in December 2017, and consecrated in March 2018.
Archbishop Martin was born in Hastings in 1967, one of five children. He entered formation for the Society of Mary in February 1985, and studied theology and arts at Victoria University of Wellington. He completed a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology at the Angelicum University in Rome and studied to become a teacher.
He worked for 20 years in schools including as rector at St Patrick’s College in Wellington. He has also been bursar general of the Society of Mary in Rome.
Archbishop Martin is the general secretary of the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference.