Father Michael Gielen, who has been Director of Formation since 2014 at New Zealand’s national seminary (Holy Cross Seminary in Ponsonby) is to become the Auxiliary (Assistant) Bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Auckland.
For some time the Catholic Bishop of Auckland, Bishop Patrick Dunn, has been waiting for an assistant bishop and is delighted at the appointment. “I know that our new Bishop-elect, already well known in the diocese, will be warmly welcomed by priests and people alike,” he said.
Bishop-elect Gielen (48) is the eldest of six children of Henk and Maureen Gielen of Mt Maunganui. He was ordained a priest in 1997 for the Hamilton Diocese and served there in a number of parishes as well as being Vocations Director and a member of the Priests’ Council and College of Consultors.
In addition to his B.Theol. from the University of Otago, he gained his Masters in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, USA, and a Licentiate in Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome.
A keen sportsman, he enjoys cricket, rugby, cycling and golf. He will continue his work as Director of Formation at Holy Cross Seminary until arrangements can be made to replace him.
On the announcement, Bishop-elect Gielen expressed his gratitude for having served in the Diocese of Hamilton over the last 20 years. “I now accept this new call in God’s service, aware of my need for God’s help, and thankful for this opportunity to serve alongside the people of the Diocese of Auckland,” he said.
His episcopal ordination will take place at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland’s CBD prior to Easter this year.
Lyndsay Freer, Media & Communications, Catholic Diocese of Auckland