Aug 22, 2022
Members of the New Zealand Magistral Delegation gathered at a special ceremony on Sunday 3 July 2022, to witness Bishop Stephen Lowe, newly appointed Bishop of Auckland, officially take up the additional role of Grand Prior to be the spiritual guide of the New Zealand members of the Order and to assist the Magistral Delegate.
Bishop Lowe, a chaplain in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, had been appointed Grand Prior of the New Zealand Magistral Delegation for a four-year term by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Order’s Grand Master, in January. He succeeds Bishop Emeritus Patrick Dunn as Grand Prior who presided at the ceremony.
As part of the ceremony, Bishop Dunn said of the appointment that it is “a commitment that is added to the episcopal office to which the Holy Father has assigned you. Belonging to the Church of Christ as Bishops, we feel that we continue the work of the Apostles who always had at heart the places where the Lord lived, died, and resurrected and diligently cared for the “Body of Christ” living in the early community of believers” and that “it also involves our brothers who, with dedication, undertake the commitment to support good works for the
Following the ceremony, the members congratulated Bishop Dunn who had been awarded the title of Grand Prior of Honour and the Gold Palm of Jerusalem by Cardinal Filoni for his distinguished service as Grand Prior.
The membership of both bishops in the Order connects a rare and little-known special association with the first bishop of New Zealand, Bishop Pompallier, who was made a member of the Order in 1848 in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, while on pilgrimage to the Holy Land before his consecration as bishop. His portraits show him
wearing the Order’s insignia.
Colin Davis KCHS, Lay Master of Ceremonies