Ordained Ministry

In Baptism we receive a calling which enables and obliges us to seek holiness, worship God and serve others. Baptism incorporates us into the Church and makes us participants in its mission. All the baptised share in the one priesthood of Christ and in the common priesthood of all believers.

Among the baptised some are called to the ministerial priesthood as deacons, priests and bishops. Those called to the ministerial priesthood receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and are consecrated for the service of all the baptised and the building up of the Church. Those who receive Holy Orders live a celibate life and have a special obligation to pray and seek holiness.

A priest proclaims the Gospel, is the minister of the sacraments, teaches the faith and works to build up the local faith community. A diocesan priest works within a particular geographical area called a diocese, usually in a parish, as the co-worker of the local bishop who leads the diocese. A religious priest takes vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to the superior of the religious order, and works in the mission of the order. Religious and diocesan priests may also serve as chaplains to prisons, hospitals, schools, universities and other institutions.


A seminarian is undergoing the formation and training needed to receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders. There are two seminaries in New Zealand, both in Auckland, which prepare men for priesthood.

A Vocation to the Priesthood

Each diocese has a Vocations Director who assists those who are considering a vocation to priesthood.

Auckland Diocese
Fr Robert O'Brien:
Ph: (09) 630 3956
Email fr.robrien@gmail.com

Wellington Archdiocese
Fr David Dowling
Ph: (04) 383 8625
Email: frdavidd@gmail.com

Hamilton Diocese
Fr Joe Stack 
Ph: (07) 871 6109
Email: vocationsdirector@thepriesthood.org.nz

Palmerston North Diocese
Fr Simon Story
Ph: (06) 757-3682
Email: simonstory@gmail.com

Christchurch Diocese
Fr John C O’Connor
Ph: (03) 319 8730
Email: vocations.chch@gmail.com

Dunedin Diocese
Fr Mark Chamberlain
Ph: (03) 479 0066
Email: machamberlain@hotmail.com