Denver, Colo., Oct 25, 2023 / 17:30 pm
Pope Francis on Wednesday appointed Father Richard Laurenson as the new bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton in northern New Zealand.
Bishop-elect Laurenson, 55, is a cat lover and canon lawyer who currently serves a parish on the Papamoa coast, All Saints by the Sea. He was born, raised, and ordained in Hamilton.
The diocese has been without a bishop since 2021, when its standing bishop, Bishop Stephen Lowe, was appointed as bishop of Auckland. Lowe served Hamilton from 2015 to 2021 and then was the diocese’s apostolic administrator.
The Diocese of Hamilton spans about 19,000 square miles and is under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Wellington. The diocese serves almost 70,000 Catholics, according to a 2021 survey. There are six dioceses in New Zealand, two of which lacked bishops until this year.