New name for merged institute

2 December 2019

‘Te Kupenga – Catholic Leadership Institute’ is the name chosen for the new organisation to be created by the merger of The Catholic Institute and the Good Shepherd College, which takes effect from January 1, 2020.

New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference president Bishop Patrick Dunn announced the name in October, chosen by the country’s bishops after careful thought and consultation with staff and students.

The merged organisation will have three operating units:

  • Catholic Theological College (provides the academic programmes of Good Shepherd College and The Catholic Institute);
  • National Centre for Religious Studies (provides curriculum resources for Religious Education programmes in Catholic schools); and
  • The Nathaniel Centre for Catholic Bioethics.

Te Kupenga means ‘the net’ or ‘the fishing net’ and harks to the first four disciples of Jesus – Andrew, Peter, James and John. They were called from their boats and nets to become fishers for Jesus’ kingdom with the same care, dedication and skill they brought to their fishing.

‘Come, follow me’, Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people’ (Matthew 4:18-19).

The name resonates strongly with Pope Francis’ call to the Church to revive its missionary spirit and purpose, Bishop Patrick said. ‘Te Kupenga will put out into the deep and cast our net wide.’

The bishops intend the name to also reflect a contemporary reference to networking, online learning, and linking with others collegially.

They expect the new institute to play a vital role in training, educating and forming Catholic seminarians and lay leaders.

Existing staff, courses and students will carry on from the existing two organisations into the new year, while a new board appoints management and decides the paths taking Te Kupenga forwards.

Published in WelCom December 2019

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