“Te Kupenga – Catholic Leadership Institute” is the name chosen for the new organisation to be created by the merger of The Catholic Institute and the Good Shepherd College from January 1.
NZ Catholic Bishops Conference president Bishop Patrick Dunn has announced the name, chosen by the country’s bishops after careful thought and consultation with staff and students.
The merged organisation will have three operating units – Catholic Theological College, National Centre for Religious Studies, and the Nathaniel Centre for Catholic Bioethics.
Te Kupenga means “the net” or “the fishing net” and harks to the first four disciples of Jesus – Andrew, Peter, James and John. They were called from their boats and nets to become fishers for Jesus’ kingdom with the same care, dedication and skill they brought to their fishing.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matthew 4:18-19).
Bishop Pat says the name resonates strongly with Pope Francis’ call to the Church to revive its missionary spirit and purpose.
“Te Kupenga will put out into the deep and cast our net wide,” said Bishop Pat.
The bishops intend the name to also reflect a contemporary reference to networking, online learning, and linking with others collegially.
They expect the new institute to play a vital role in training, educating and forming Catholic seminarians and lay leaders.
Existing staff, courses and students will carry on from the existing two organisations into the new year, while a new board appoints management and decides the paths taking Te Kupenga forwards.