A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Changing of the Guard for ‘Missionz’ Leadership

Fr Paul Shannahan SM hands over to Fr Bernard Espiritu SVD

May 31, 2012 saw the changing of the guard as Fr Paul Shannahan SM handed  over to Fr Bernard Espiritu SVD as National Director of Missionz after more than five years of dedicated and enthusiastic service. Staff, clergy, religious and supporters of Missionz gathered to thank Fr Shannahan and to welcome Fr Espiritu.

In acknowledging Fr Shannahan’s contribution, Papal Nuncio to New Zealand Archbishop Charles Balvo spoke to Fr Shannahan “As National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies for New Zealand, you have distinguished yourself in the way that you have carried out the mission given to us by Jesus, with enthusiasm, commitment, hard work and, yes, a sense of humour.”

“I extend heartfelt thanks to you for all that you have done to develop and promote missionary awareness in this country.  I am fully confident that you hand over a vibrant office to your successor, Father Bernard Espiritu.”

Archbishop John Dew spoke of Fr Paul Shannahan to thank him for the indispensible service in promoting involvement in the missionary activity of the Church.

In thanking  his colleagues and supporters, Fr Shannahan said “Your prayerful and sometime financial support is much appreciated. My faith has been immensely enriched by the missionaries I have met overseas as well as meeting priests and committed people like you who love Christ and the Church. We have been fortunate to have Fr Bernard Espiritu SVD as new National Director who will, I am sure, bring a fresh impetus to animating us in our own efforts to live and share Christ Jesus.”

As it was the last day of May – Mary’s Month, the incoming Director Fr Bernard Espiritu spoke of Mary’s prayer of thanksgiving, the Magnificat, as a prayer of a grateful heart to the Heart that cares and does not forget.

“I’d like to thank too Fr Shannahan who has served MISSIONZ during the past five years with dedication.” Fr Espiritu said.

Supplied by Simone Olsen (NZCBC)

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