The bishop of the Hamilton diocese, in New Zealand, Denis Browne, has just celebrated a double anniversary; the jubilee of his priesthood and 35 years as a bishop.
Before being appointed as the second bishop of Hamilton, in 1994, Bishop Denis was the bishop of Rarotonga from 1977 to 1983, and bishop of Auckland from 1983 to 1994.
Bishops Charles Drennan, Robin Leamy and Len Boyle were among the concelebrants at the mass in the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary which was attended by large numbers of family members, friends and priests and deacons from the Hamilton and Auckland dioceses and from as far away as Australia.
Bishop Denis said, “I was humbled and delighted to share the celebration with so many people who’ve been instrumental in my vocation thus far, in particular my siblings who’ve supported me from the beginning.”
“It was very special to be able to renew the promises I made at my ordination and for these special people in my life to be witnesses to these.”
Of the the six children in the Browne family, the oldest child, Mary, married; three, Michael, Denis and Neville, became priests; two, Margaret and Agnes, became Sisters of Mercy.
Bishop Denis said, “I was ordained a priest the same year as the opening of the Second Vatican Council, since that time I’ve seen and experienced great change in society and in our Church. What has remained constant has been the love and support of parishes I’ve worked in and places I’ve travelled.”
In his words of congratulations, personal friend and adviser to the bishop, Sir Peter Trapski, conveyed the gratitude of the Hamilton diocese.
“On behalf of the Hamilton diocese I wish to express our gratitude for your care and compassion over the past 17 years you’ve been among us. The role of bishop is at times a difficult one, particularly in our modern age where respect is not always a given, but you’ve shown fortitude and dedication to your vocation and the people that you serve and that is felt and sincerely appreciated,” said Sir Peter.
Bishop Denis also received a letter of congratulations from the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI for the double anniversaries.
- Image: NZCBC
News category: New Zealand.