time for change

Nov 30, 2011

This is not the ideal way to break this news, so here goes…

I received a call from the bishop a few days ago asking if I would be willing to accept a new appointment next year to the parishes of North Canterbury. 

There was no pressure from the bishop at all, and he understood that this would be a significant wrench for me. But I said yes. This means that at the end of January I will begin as Parish Priest of the three North Canterbury parishes. (Cheviot, Hanmer Springs and Hawarden, with their seven churches).

I have always had a concern for the rural areas of our diocese. If there were no Mass on a Sunday at Our Lady of VIctories, the people of the parish have a choice of almost sixty Sunday Masses within the city boundaries every Sunday. The people in the rural areas of our diocese are often not as fortunate.

Having said that, the bishop’s call last week was a completely unexpected surprise. I have spent twelve years as the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Victories. We have grown together a lot and through much. I will not find it easy to leave the people of this parish. The one year I have been PP of St. Joseph’s Darfield has also been a privilege.

But I am a priest of the diocese rather than a particular parish primarily. So I am happy to receive this new and challenging appointment.

Unfortunately (despite an embargo) the news of this change ‘leaked’ in a couple of other parishes last weekend. As a result my plans for letting you know in good time and personally are not able to happen. I am sorry about that. 

I will be replaced here at Our Lady of Victories by Fr. Michael Pui who is presently Parish Priest of Kaiapoi.  The Assistant priest will be Fr. Paolo Filoiali-i  (presently PP of Hornby). He will continue to reside in Hornby and remain as PP of Hornby.

Fr. Michael has also been appointed as PP of Darfield (also to replace me). This appointment to Darfield is for one year until the new parishes are created (Hornby joining with Sockburn & Darfield joining with Leeston and Lincoln).

I am happy to remain as Parish Priest of Chatham Islands.

Let us pray that this transition for both priests and people happens easily and happily for all.


Christchurch Diocese Clergy Changes for 2012

To the existing parishes of:
            Kaiapoi       Reverend Denis Nolan   Parish Priest
                             Reverend Augustine Palayal   Assistant Priest
                             (Father Denis will reside in Rangiora,
                              Father Augustine will reside in Kaiapoi)
Rangiora                 Reverend Denis Nolan   Parish Priest
                             Reverend Augustine Palayal   Assistant Priest
                             (Father Denis will reside in Rangiora,
                             Father Augustine will reside in Kaiapoi)
Sockburn                Reverend Michael Pui   Parish Priest
                             Reverend Paulo Filoiali-i   Assistant Priest
                            (Father Paulo will continue as Parish Priest of Hornby and reside in Hornby)
North Canterbury     Reverend John C O’Connor   Parish Priest
                             Chatham Islands        
Addington               Reverend John Craddock SM Parish Priest from May 2012
                             Reverend John Jolliffe SM Administrator February–May 2012 

To the new parishes of:

Cathedral               Reverend Christopher Friel   Administrator
                             Reverend Christopher Orr     Assistant Priest
Woolston                Reverend Daniel Doyle   Parish Priest
Mairehau                 Reverend Simon Eccleton   Parish Priest
                             Reverend Job Thyikalamuriyil    Assistant Priest
                                                     (Father Job will reside at Burwood)
New Brighton          Reverend Bryan Parish   Parish Priest
Bryndwr                 Reverend Rick Loughnan   Parish Priest
Timaru and Waimate      Reverend Peter Costello   Parish Priest
                                    Reverend Kevin Foote   Assistant Priest
Opihi                            Reverend Brian Fennessy   Parish Priest
Mackenzie                  Reverend Jim Nicholas   Parish Priest
Please note the new parishes will come into existence by decree on 25 January, 2012.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts



I try not to repeat these daily Lenten posts year to year but there are times when the same scriptures pop up annually and I realise that I can’t write it better than I did last year. Today is one such day, not only because of the thought I share but even more in the comments that are added by FFF readers. Today I have left some of last year’s comments helping us to appreciate the power of today’s readings.

my word your home

my word your home

The heart of the home in years past was the hearth.
It was at the hearth that the family gathered for the warmth and light of the flame and the food that was prepared there.
The fire was treated with respect since the same flame which provided energy for the home could just as easily destroy it.

stand up look up

stand up look up

The Israelites in their forty years in the desert were journeying from captivity to freedom, but the struggle of their desert years made them vulnerable to attack from every temptation as today’s first reading continues

confident in God

confident in God

I’m not sure if children today are told the great story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, but if not let’s make sure that the parable is taught at all schools of higher learning.

the teenagers

the teenagers

A few years ago I discovered the wonderful way that God uses my imagination in my prayer.
Such openness to imagination when seeking God does not take us away from reality into fantasy but instead brings me into what is most real and inescapably personal and intimate.