Denis Browne – 38 years a bishop, 52 years a priest

The retiring Bishop of Hamilton, New Zealand, has been a bishop for 38 years, serving in three dioceses, The Cook Islands, Auckland and Hamilton.

He has been a priest for 52 years.

“Looking back over nearly 38 years as a Bishop in three different Dioceses, I am grateful for the wonderful support and loyalty that I have received from Clergy, Religious and the Laity,” said Bishop Browne.

When he was announcing the appointment of Stephen Lowe, Browne’s successor, Archbishop John Dew said “I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to Bishop Denis Browne for his dedicated service as Bishop of Hamilton for the last 20 years, and his valuable contribution to the Church in New Zealand since his ordination to the priesthood 52 years ago.”

“Bishop Denis has always approached his vocation as Bishop in a prayerful and faithful way. He always puts people first, and their needs are always at the forefront of his decisions,” said Archbishop Dew.

Denis Browne was ordained in Auckland on 30 June 1962 by Archbishop James Liston.

After ordination, he worked in Gisborne where he served from 1963 until 1968.

He was at Papatoetoe 1968-1971 and at Remuera 1972- 1975.

He served in Tonga (Nukualofa, Houma,`Eva) in the period 1975-1977.

On the 29th June, 1977 he was ordained a Bishop in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Auckland.

He served as Bishop of the Cook Islands and Niue until 1983.

He became the tenth Bishop of Auckland on 24 August 1983 and served in that post until 1994 when he was translated to Hamilton as its second Bishop.

He was:

  • President, New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference 2003 t0 2009,
  • President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania 2002 – 2006
  • NZCBC representative on the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL)
  • Secretary of ICEL 2005 – 2011
  • Member of the NZCBC Commission for the Church

Bishop Browne was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2001.

When he celebrated his 75th birthday in 2012, Bishop Browne reckoned he slipped into retirement mode and it was reported to be having a good effect, because a few days later he played his best game of golf in a while.


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News category: New Zealand.

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