Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – Today the Holy Father has appointed Rev. Fr. Paul Martin, M.S., bursar general of the Marist Fathers in Rome, as Bishop of the diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand.
The new Bishop was born in the Diocese of Hastings, New Zealand, on 5 May 1967. After his primary and secondary school studies, he studied theology at Saint Mary’s Scholasticate, Greenmeadows; and Saint Mary’s Catholic Theological College, Auckland. In 1985 he joined the religious Congregation of the Society of Mary and gave his perpetual vows on 7 January 1988. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in theology from the University of Auckland (via Sydney College of Divinity) in 1989, in English from the University of Victoria, Wellington, in 1991, and then from July 1991 to January 1992 he attended a course on pastoral ministry in Australia Centrale, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology from the New Zealand Marist Seminary (via the Angelicum, Rome). In 1994 he obtained a diploma in teaching from the Auckland College of Education. On 4 September 1993 he was ordained a priest.
Since Ordination, he has carried out 1993-1994:pastoral ministry in Rawene, South Hokianga; 1994-1995: attended the Marist Seminary (and the Auckland Teachers Training College); 1995-1998: Pastoral Ministry in Whangarei, Pompallier College; 1999-2002: held the roles of teacher and superior of the Community of Saint Bede’s College; 2002-2003: served as chaplain at Hato Paora, Maori Boys’ College and, at the same time, Superior of the Community in the Fielding parish; 2004-2005: teacher of English in Saint Patrick’s College, Wellington; 2005-2007: deputy head and teacher of English, Saint Bede’s, Christchurch; 2007-2013: rector of Saint Patricks College, Wellington, Kemp Street Community; Superior of the Community in Kemp Street. During the latter period he spend six months performing spiritual exercises at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. 2014-2016: served as member of the provincial Council, vice provincial and bursar, and superior of the Community of Ngaio; since 2016: is currently general bursar of the Marist Fathers in Rome. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 05/12/2017)