Catholic Bishop of Hamilton Diocese Bishop Denis Browne celebrated his double jubilee of his Priestly and Episcopal ordinations surrounded by family, friends and brother Priests and Bishops at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
June 2012 for Bishop Denis Browne marked 50 years since he was ordained a priest and 35 years as a Bishop and the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary was full of well-wishers who celebrated the milestone with a Mass of thanksgiving.
“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,” said Bishop Denis Browne of Hamilton.
Supported by Priests and Deacons from the Hamilton and Auckland Dioceses and as far away as Australia Bishops Denis celebrated the Mass along with principal concelebrants Bishop Charles Drennan, Bishop Robin Leamy and Bishop Len Boyle. Special mention was made of other priests who will this year celebrate their jubilee. Acknowledgement of the contribution that the Browne family had given to the Catholic Church in New Zealand was also made. Three of the six Browne children, Michael, Denis and Neville became priests, two Margaret and Agnes, became Sisters of Mercy and the eldest child, Mary married.
“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,” said Bishop Denis.
“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.” Said Bishop Denis.
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 Trapski.
Bishop Denis also received a letter of congratulations from the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI for the double anniversaries.
Bishop Denis was ordained a Priest in St Patricks Cathedral in Auckland on 30 June 1962. He has served in the Parishes of Gisborne, Papatoetoe and Remuera before being sent as a missionary to Tonga. In 1977 he was appointed Bishop of Rarotonga where served from 1977-1983, before being installed as the tenth Bishop of Auckland in 1983. In 1995 he became the second Bishop of Hamilton.