Once a Brother teaching in Gisborne, now the Parish Priest

A former teacher has returned to the coastal town of Gisborne after four decades away, but now as their parish priest!

Delighting longtime residents, Fr Mark Field recently began his new role as parish priest at St Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church.

Field was a familiar face in the town from the late 1970s to the early 1980s, when he taught religious studies and geography at Campion College in Gisborne.

Field describes his homecoming as “quite surreal”.

“It’s been fascinating meeting people I knew 40 years ago and haven’t seen since.

“Often it’s the parents of kids I’ve taught.”

From Brother to Father

Originally from Hamilton, Field joined the Marist Brothers who appointed him to Campion College after his teacher training in Auckland.

He spent about 20 years with the Brothers before feeling “a niggle about becoming a priest”.

“I thought I had to try this out, and I’m glad I did” he explained, commenting on two decades ago going to the seminary in Auckland to begin training for the priesthood.

“I’ve worked in Hamilton, Rotorua and in Tauranga, so I’ve had half my working life as a brother and half as a priest” he told The Gisborne Herald.

An active Parish Priest

In his new role, the energetic Field hopes to revive his long-abandoned hobby of leadlighting for stained glass.

“I never had enough time for leadlighting, so I gave all my stuff away. But I think I will have time here.”

He is also a keen cyclist and walker.

Field’s appointment was one of the first made by recently installed Hamilton Catholic Bishop Richard Laurenson.

The former St Mary’s priest Fr Tovio Iusitino has moved to Morrinsville.


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News category: New Zealand.

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