Bishop Michael Gielen was born in Cambridge and raised in Tokoroa, the son of Henk and Maureen Gielen and the oldest of six siblings. After studying at Holy Cross College in Mosgiel he was ordained as a priest in 1997 in Tokoroa by Bishop Max Mariu, SM, Auxiliary Bishop of Hamilton (the first Maori Catholic bishop).
He has been a priest for 22 years serving in Gisborne, Hamilton, Steubenville – USA, Mt Maunganui, Rome – Italy and most recently as Director of Formation at Holy Cross Seminary. Bishop Michael was ordained Auxiliary Bishop for Auckland Diocese on 7 March 2020. The deacon at the ordination Mass was his father, Deacon Henk Gielen.
Bishop Michael counts his Catholic faith and his family as the greatest blessings of his life; through them he has come to know Jesus in the most profound way. Sharing this Good News is his life’s-work. He is also a keen cyclist. In 2015 he and seven seminarians of Holy Cross Seminary cycled for 33 days from Cape Reinga to Bluff to promote vocations for the priesthood. His other passions included rugby and cricket, which he played, and just about all sports going. He always has a book “on the go”, covering most genres, latterly he has enjoyed NZ historical novels. He loves journeying with people from every walk and background of life; they have made him who he is. He looks forward to walking with you on this incredible journey of life.
Bishop Michael’s Latin motto is Totus Tuus “All Yours.”