Commission for Ecumenism & Interfaith Relations

The Auckland Diocesan Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-faith Relations meets four or five times a year to study Church teachings on ecumenism and inter-faith relations as well as promote ecumenical and inter-faith activities around the diocese.


Members of the commission have wide range of knowledge and experience in the Catholic Church’s understanding in promoting unity among Christians and building bridges with other faith traditions.


Jim Donald (Chair)

Philip Hadley

Adriana Janus

Sr. Patricia Leamy, SMSM

Beate Matthies

Sr. Sian Owen, RSJ

Deacon Chris Sullivan

Fr. Kevin Toomey, OP (Catholic representative on the Auckland Interfaith Council)

Articles and Links

2016 Buddha’s Day

On Sunday, 08 May 2016, Deacon Chris Sullivan participated in a multi-faith gathering to celebrate Buddha’s Day at the Fo Guang Shan Temple in Auckland.

Deacon Chris summed up his experience in this reflection:

“We were touched by the depth of prayer at the start of the ceremony and we found it very interesting that every component of the ceremony seemed to have some reflection in our own Catholic faith tradition – candles, incense, veneration of statutes, prayer to saints, chants, etc.  Although our faiths are different, there is a great deal we share in common and many Catholics find the Buddhist spiritual practices of meditation, mindfulness and compassion to be a helpful part of our own spiritual life.”

Deacon Chris and the rest of the Auckland Diocesan Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-faith Relations would like to thank Abbess Manshin and the community of Fo Guang Shan for a very impressive and efficient organisation and very kind and generous hospitality.

A group of Filipino dancers (all Catholics) performing pieces on the life and teachings of Buddha – they are associated with a Buddhist university established from the Fo Guang Shan base in Taiwan.

“Perspective Shape Our Lives” a reflection from the 2016 National Interfaith Forum by Beate Matthies. (Beate is a member of the Auckland Diocesan Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-faith relations and Manager of the Mercy Spirituality Centre in Epsom)

Some of the Catholic delegates at the 2016 National Interfaith Forum: (from the left) Beate Matthies, Fr. Kevin Tommey, OP, Sr. Catherine Jones, SMSM, and Sr. Pat Leamy, SMSM.