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.

Blessings
John




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.

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