Bishop Peter Cullinane has retired after almost 32 years as the Bishop of Palmerston North.
Bishop Peter was born in Dannevirke, 29 November 1936, was ordained a priest at Brignole Sale College, Genoa, on 23 December 1961, and ordained as the first Bishop of the newly established Diocese of Palmerston North at St. Patrick’s Palmerston North, 23 April 1980. Last year, he completed fifty years of priesthood.
He has a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Angelicum, Rome, and has a Master of Theology from Otago University, New Zealand. During his time as Bishop he found time to write a number of books and numerous papers on contemporary issues.
Bishop Peter was a member of the Episcopal Board of ICEL between 1983 and 2003, president of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Conference between 1997 and 2003, and was awarded Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the community.
In his homily at a Mass to mark Bishop Peter’s fiftieth anniversary of priesthood, Cardinal Thomas Williams said, ‘Bishop Peter … You have witnessed over those years to the truth that the vocation to priesthood, serving as Christ served, although it involves sacrifice and commitment, is not only possible but becomes a rich source of fulfilment and deep happiness because it is rooted in love – Christ’s love.’