A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Fr Brian Culling sm

11 Nov 1932 - 11 Dec 2010

Fr Brian Culling sm

Fr Brian Culling sm


In the life of Brian Culling we find a person who not only sought for what God had planned for him but one who carried it out to the full.

‘Kalino’, as he was affectionately known by his Tongan people, grew up in the southern parts of the South Island in New Zealand. His father was a railway office employee and the family were stalwarts of the faith wherever they happened to be.

He studied under the Christian Brothers Dunedin the Marist teaching brothers Invercargill, and at St Bedes College Christchurch. Immediately after ordination in 1960 he was appointed to Tonga.

He served under the leadership of Bishop John Rodgers, and later Bishop Pat Finau, and developed a devoted commitment to the work at hand. He studied at the East Asian Pastoral Institute in Manila. From this came the diocesan programme of Education in Christian Living (E. C. L.). catering for early childhood through to adulthood.

He set up the Diocesan Tribunal in Tonga. He became a member of the Canon Law Society and attended meetings of the Australian and New Zealand branch of that Society.

He was three times elected Regional Superior of the Marists in Tonga.

Father Brian, even with his deteriorating health in his last fifteen years, still made himself available in Tonga.
He continued his tribunal work, and assisted Bishop Foliaki, who was showing signs of illness, by becoming his driver. In 2008 he received a Medal from the government of Tongan for his long service in the kingdom.

Paramount in his pastoral ministry was his prayer life. He was faithful to the divine office every day. His tattered breviary confirms this. And he was faithful to his daily Mass. Father Brian was respected by all members of the church in Tonga, especially by the bishops, priests and religious. Toka i he fiemalie.

from the Eulogy of Fr David Mullins sm

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