New Bishop for Hamilton

Fr. Stephen Lowe has been appointed the third Bishop of Hamilton in New Zealand. He replaces bishop Denis Browne who has retired.

He is at present Director of formation at the National Seminary, Holy Cross College.

Hearing of the announcement Bishop Browne said, “I am delighted that Hamilton will receive a Bishop with such pastoral sensitivities and expertise both of which Bishop-Elect Stephen has.”

“His pastoral experience in parishes and his brilliant term as director of formation will all serve him well and he will be warmly welcomed to Hamilton Diocese.”

Lowe said “It has been a humbling and overwhelming experience to have been called to be the third Bishop of Hamilton.”

“I look forward now to meeting the people, religious, deacons and priests of Hamilton Diocese and to work with and serve them as their bishop.”

“As I do so I am conscious of Bishop Denis Browne’s faithful service as bishop and I look forward to learning from him and the Diocesan family as I take up my new ministry.”

Lowe was born 1962 in Hokitika, in the Diocese of Christchurch.

After his secondary studies at Westland High School in Hokitika, he worked for the New Zealand Forest Service in Hokitika and Christchurch and NZ Timberlands in Timaru.

During this time he became involved in his local parish in Timaru North where he was involved in a young adults group and with youth in the parish.

In 1990 he began studying for the priesthood at Holy Cross Seminary College in Mosgiel and then the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, United States.

He was ordained a priest June 7, 1996 for the Diocese of Christchurch.

He served as the assistant priest in Mairehau, Ashburton and Greymouth parishes before being appointed parish priest of Timaru North.

In 2005, he pursued studies in spirituality in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

After completing a Licence in Spiritual Theology he was appointed to Holy Cross Seminary in 2008.

“We are grateful that Bishop-Elect Stephen Lowe has accepted the call to this special ministry, and on behalf of all the New Zealand Bishops I express our support and welcome as he becomes part of our New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.” said Archbishop John Dew, President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.

“We have no doubt that he will bring a valuable perspective to our discussions.”

The Diocese of Hamilton in New Zealand (1980), suffragan of the Archdiocese of Wellington, has an area of 49,700 square kilometers and a population of 678,000 inhabitants, of whom 96,500 are Catholics.

There are 36 parishes, served by 49 priests (32 diocesan and 17 religious), 23 religious brothers, 50 nuns and 6 seminarians.


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