Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 21 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Anselm of Canterbury
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

New Zealand Bishop’s ordination attended by his own deacon father


Bishop Patrick Dunn | Facebook | Fair Use

J-P Mauro - published on 03/17/20

This was the first time a New Zealand deacon saw his son elevated.

A permanent deacon in New Zealand experienced a rare treat, when he was able to participate in the ordination Mass of his son, Auckland’s new Auxiliary Bishop Michael Gielen.

Michael Otto of CruxNow reports that the event, attended by over 3,000 people, was the first time a New Zealand deacon ever had such an honor. Deacon Henk Gielen was proud to be a part of the ceremony in which his eldest son was named a bishop of the Catholic Church.

During his first official speech as prelate, Bishop Gielen spoke of his faith’s influence in his formation as a person, and extolled the virtues of sharing faith as a family. He said that even as a boy he could recognize the positive changes changes within himself that his Catholic practices encouraged.

“I have good news,” Bishop Gielen said in his thanksgiving speech. “Whether you are 7 or 70, Jesus loves you,” the new bishop said. “Jesus will never leave you alone. Jesus has amazing things in life for you, whatever your age is, if you trust him and ask him into your life, like my family did. It’s amazing what he can do when we say, ‘yes.’ Thank you for your ‘yes,’ and let us travel together in our waka (Maori canoe), wherever God leads us.”

His father, Deacon Gielen, who read the Gospel during the Mass, said that this was the first time in New Zealand that a deacon’s son has risen to the rank of bishop. He said that the appointment came as a shock, but he seemed confident that Bishop Gielen would flourish in his new position. When asked if he had ever imagined that Michael would be named a bishop, he said:

“No father knows what will become of their children … But you love them and give them your best and hope they will flourish.” He added that his son was bound to be a good bishop, because “Michael has a heart for (the) less privileged and a heart of compassion.”

Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa, the papal nuncio to New Zealand, could not be at the ordination, as he has placed himself in quarantine for the next two weeks, fearing that he may have contracted COVID-19.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Cerith Gardiner
The lasting lesson from the late Prince Philip
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.