Pope Francis on December 5, 2017, appointed Rev. Fr. Paul Martin, M.S., bursar general of the Marist Fathers in Rome, as bishop of the diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand.
Bishop-Elect Paul Martin will be the tenth Bishop of Christchurch and succeeds Bishop Barry Jones who died in February 2016.
“It is wonderful for Christchurch that they will receive a Bishop who has worked with a range of communities, has extensive pastoral experience and comes to the role with a wealth of knowledge and expertise,” said Bishop Patrick Dunn, President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC). “We are delighted that Bishop-Elect Paul has accepted the call to this special ministry. On behalf of all the New Zealand Bishops, I warmly welcome him to our New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference. We know that he will bring a new voice and a valuable perspective to our discussions.”
Bishop-elect Paul Martin, M.S.
Paul Martin was born in Hastings in 1967 to Ronald and Carmel Martin. He was one of five children.
Receiving his primary education at St Joseph’s in Hastings, the Bishop-Elect then went on to St John’s college where he stayed until 1984. In 1985, he entered formation for the Society of Mary.
He obtained a bachelor’s degree in theology from the University of Auckland (via Sydney College of Divinity) in 1989, in English from the University of Victoria, Wellington, in 1991, and then from July 1991 to January 1992 he attended a course on pastoral ministry in Australia Centrale, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology from the New Zealand Marist Seminary (via the Angelicum, Rome). In 1994 he obtained a diploma in teaching from the Auckland College of Education.
On September 4, 1993, he was ordained a priest.
Since ordination, he has carried out pastoral ministry in Rawene, South Hokianga (1993-1994), Whangarei, Pompallier College (1995-1998) and the Saint Mary of the Angels parish in Wellington; attended the Marist Seminary (and the Auckland Teachers Training College) (1994-1995); held the roles of teacher and superior of the Community of Saint Bede’s College (1999-2002); served as chaplain at Hato Paora, Maori Boys’ College and, at the same time, superior of the Community in the Fielding parish (2002-2003); teacher of English in Saint Patrick’s College, Wellington (2004-2005); deputy head and teacher of English, Saint Bede’s, Christchurch (2005-2007); and rector of Saint Patricks College, Wellington, Kemp Street Community; superior of the Community in Kemp Street (2007-2013). During the latter period, he spent six months performing spiritual exercises at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He then served as a member of the provincial Council, vice provincial and bursar, and superior of the Community of Ngaio (2014-2016), and is currently general bursar of the Marist Fathers in Rome.