Seminary Staff

FR. BRENDAN WARD
(Rector)

Born and raised in Invercargill, Southland. Worked in the forestry industry in NZ and Papua New Guinea 1977-1989 before entering the seminary in 1990. Ordained 1995, for the Diocese of Dunedin. Appointed rector of Holy Cross Seminary June 2014. B.For.Sci; B.Theol; MA Psych.Rlgn.

FR. MICHAEL GIELEN
(Formation Director)

Kia Ora. I was ordained a priest for the diocese of Hamilton 1997, and until 2012 served in parishes in the Gisborne, Hamilton and western Bay of Plenty. It is a privilege to now be serving at Holy Cross as the Director of Formation. My life is a living testament to a challenge from Pope Francis:

"Be not afraid of what God asks of you. It is worth saying yes to God! In him we find our joy."

 
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Br. Mark McKeon
(Pastoral Director)                                  I have been a De La Salle Brother for 35 years.  I have been engaged in educational ministry in Aotearoa, Papua New Guinea, Australia and most recently in Palestine where I worked for three years at Bethlehem University the only Catholic University in the Holy Land. Originally from Queensland, during my time in the Brothers I've been blessed to have have the opportunity to form relationships across the globe. 

FR. PHILIP BILLING
(Spiritual Director)

I was ordained in St Mary Immaculate Church Hamilton on the 20th September, 2002. In 2016 I spent time in Melbourne studying at the Heart of Life Spirituality Centre, completing the ‘Siloam’ programme, a one year formation programme for Spiritual Directors. My role will be to help the seminarians develop their spiritual lives and deepen their personal relationship with Jesus in preparation for ordination to priesthood. My goal is to refine the acoustics of the heart not only of the one who is talking about their spiritual journey with me but also my own heart, so that we can both better hear the Spirit’s guidance, the true Spiritual Director. In this way God becomes a telling influence in our choices. Discernment then becomes a life-long commitment to stay connected to God and to listen to God’s guidance on our journey of life.

 

ANASTASIA BROWN
(Office Manager)

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Hi, my name is Anastasia, I am married to Chris and we have three teenagers.  I originally came from Hawkes Bay  and grew up in parish of  St. Mary's, Taradale.  My role at the Seminary is to run the office, and assist the students with all the practical day to day needs they face with being part of a community.

 

Seminary Students

 

MATTHEW GIBSON
Hi. My name is Matthew Gibson. I started at the seminary in 2013 and hope to be a priest for the Hamilton diocese. Please pray for us and the staff entrusted with our formation.

Hi, my name is Tang Phan a seminarian for the Christchurch Diocese.   I am from Vietnam.    I am currently on my Pastoral Year in Christchurch.

 

VUI HOANG

Vui was recently ordained for the Palmerston North Diocese on 29th June 2019
Hi. I am Vui Hoang, a seminarian for the Palmerston North Diocese. From Vietnam, I entered Holy Cross Seminary in 2013.

MARTIN WU
Martin was recently ordained for the Auckland Diocese on 10th August 2019

Hi. I am Martin Wu. I am a seminarian for Auckland Diocese and I entered the seminary in 2013.  I have experience working with at-risk youth and youth offenders.
Please pray for me!
 

 

 

THOMAS PARK
Kia Ora, Hi, my name is Thomas (Chani) Park, came to NZ in 2003 from Seoul, Republic of Korea. I joined the seminary in 2014 for the  Auckland diocese. Before entering the seminary, I completed secondary school (Rangitoto college) in 2006, studied at University of Auckland and Massey University. My work experience has been in  rental property and as a ship broker. I am currently doing my pastoral year in Flatbush.

TRUNG VAN NGUYEN
My name is Trung. I am from Vietnam. I finished a degree in Philosophy at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City. I came to New Zealand in May 2012. I am a seminarian for Palmerston North Diocese. I like to play soccer, table tennis and listening to instrumental music. 

 

ADAM KIRKEBY
Hello. I am Adam Kirkeby. I entered the seminary for the Hamilton Diocese in 2016, before which I worked as a primary school teacher for six years in Catholic schools in Taupo, Hamilton and Tokoroa.

ALFRED TONG
Hi! I’m Alfred, a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Wellington. I started at Holy Cross Seminary in 2016. Previously I was an environmental chemist in the aquatic environment. In addition, I worked as a donor database administrator for Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand. I love music making and in addition to singing, I play the piano, cello and guitar.

 

MONTY BAMFORD 
My name is Monty Bamford, a seminarian for the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch. I grew up on a high country farm in Hawarden, North Canterbury. I have aBachelor of Commerce degree from Lincoln University, and worked for three years as a product manager for a rural supplies company  in Christchurch. I entered Holy Cross Seminary in 2016. My home parish is the Catholic Parish of the Good Shepherd, Hurunui.

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HUONG DINH VAN
Kia Ora! I am Huong Dinh and I am currently a seminarian for the Diocese of Christchurch and Studying Bachelor Degree of Theology at Good Shepherd College.
I am keen on talking and working with a variety of people. I am also a big fan of Ruby as I love watching All Blacks play. I love football, music, and dance

 
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JOSEPH VAN LONG NGUYEN
My name is Joseph Nguyen, I am 28 years old. I come from one of the most beautiful countries in the world called Vietnam. I'm here for the Diocese of Dunedin.

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ISAAC FRANSEN
I'm a seminarian for the Hamilton Diocese. I was born and bred on a dairy farm with six brothers. I completed BE(mech) at Waikato University before entering the seminary in 2015. God bless you, and please pray for us all here and those who are discerning. I am currently doing my pastoral year in Rotorua.

 
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SUU NGUYEN
Hi, I am Suu and come from Vietnam. I entered the Holy Cross Seminary in 2017 and a seminarian for Dunedin Diocese. I have a civil engineering qualification. Please pray for me.

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JOSEPH PHAM
Xin chao! I am Joseph Phama seminarian for Auckland diocese this year 2018.  I come from a Catholic family in North Vietnam. Early in 2016, I graduated with a degree in Finance and Banking in Saigon, then I came to Auckland and completed my Diploma in Business in February 2017. I have always been involved with Catholic student movements, and in Auckland was associated with our Youth Ministry while working in a variety of jobs.  I feel that I have wanted to be a priest for the past 16 years, and I started my journey here at Holy Cross Seminary. 

 
 
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KINH NGUYEN My name's Kinh and I am from  Vietnam. I am studying for the Archdiocese of Wellington. I come from a  big Catholic family in Vietnam.

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MATTHEW WHITE Kia ora koutou. My name is Matt White.
I am a first year seminarian for the archdiocese of Wellington. Before I came here I was a high school teacher. I love rugby and cricket. Please keep all of us at the seminary in your prayers. Thank you.