The Priests of the Diocese

The Diocese of Palmerston North is served by its own diocesan priests together with priests belonging to various Religious Orders: The Society of Mary (Marists), Rosminians (The Institute of Charity), The Heralds of Good News, and the Cistercian Monks of Kopua Abbey.

Alongside the usual variety of pastoral activities associated with parish life, our priests also serve as spiritual directors, school and college chaplains, chaplains to hospitals and prisons, university and other tertiary chaplains, and offer particular ministry to Catholic marae.

A special place within our Diocese is New Zealand’s only community of monks who reside at Southern Star Abbey in Central Hawke’s Bay. They belong to the Cistercian order and lead a semi-contemplative life.

View map of the Diocese for Church, School and Maori Eucharistic Community locations.

The priests of the Diocese are:


Bishop Charles Drennan

Retired Bishops:

Bishop Peter Cullinane

Bishop Owen Dolan

Father Freddie Barte: Waitara, Inglewood and Mokau
Father Simon Story, Father Tom Lawn, Father Sanjay Pradhan: Catholic Parish of New Plymouth/Ngamotu
Various rostered priests: Stratford, Kaponga, Eltham
Father Craig Butler: Hawera, Manaia
Father Vijay Dung Dung: Opunake

Whanganui / Waimarino:
Father Marcus Francis, Father Adonis Rancho, Father John Roberts: Catholic Parish of Whanganui, Hiruharama, Patea and Waverley
Father Peter Brockhill: Marton, Bulls, Hunterville
Father Bernie O’Donnell: Ohakune, Taihape, Waiouru

Manawatu / Tararua
Father Brian Walsh, Mons David Bell: Cathedral of the Holy Spirit
Father Manoj Matthew IC, Father Robin Kurian IC: St Marys Palmerston North, Feilding
Father Bryan Buenger: Dannevirke, Pahiatua, Woodville, Eketahuna
Father Joseph Grayland: Our Lady of Lourdes Palmerston North, Rongotea, Foxton, Shannon

Hawkes Bay:
Father Paul Kerridge: Central Hawke’s Bay
Father Vince Onesi, Father Nathaniel Brazil: Catholic Parish of Hastings/Heretaunga
Father Barry Scannell SM, Father Paul Byers SM, Father Damian Caccioppoli SM, Father John Mori SM: Catholic Parish of Napier/Ahuriri
Father Arthur Toothill SM, Father Michael O’Donnell SM: Wairoa

Priests retired (or not in active pastoral ministry in the Diocese):
Father Michael Lloyd
Father Peter Carde SM
Father Terry Carr
Father Bill Casey
Father Pat Cooke
Father Wally Cooke
Father Harry Costello
Father John Dykes
Father Dom Heslin
Father Peter Fahey
Father Manus Lyons
Father Jock McLaughlan
Father Kevin Neal
Father Joe O’Sullivan
Father Tom Sherry
Father Don Hamilton SM
Father Earl Crotty SM
Father Fergus Reeves
Father Frank Twiss SM
Father Kataitiana Kingi SM
Father William Clancy


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