Bishop of Auckland

E hoa ma, tena koutou.

Dear friends, welcome!

As Bishop of Auckland I welcome you to our website, which is part of our mission to bring and share the Good News of Jesus Christ who said, “I have come that you may have life and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10)

May it assist you to discover the hope, the joy and the peace of the message of Jesus in the worship, the people and the activities of our Catholic community of the Diocese of Auckland.

Above all may you find here the person of Jesus, who is at the very heart of who we are and all that we do.

May God bless you.

+ Patrick Dunn

Bishop of Auckland

Bishops Crest

Bishop Patrick was ordained to priesthood at his family’s parish church, St Michael’s in Remuera, on 24 April 1976. He was formally installed as 11th Bishop of Auckland at St Patrick’s Cathedral on 29 March 1995.


Motto: Be not Afraid – These were the first words spoken by Pope John Paul II when he addressed the crowds after his election as Pope in 1978. They occur many times in the Scriptures.

Coat of Arms:

  • The three rows of tassles signify the rank of bishop.
  • The stars represent the Southern Cross.
  • M stands for Mary. It was in the crest of Pope St John Paul II who called me to be a bishop, but reminds us also that the Church in New Zealand was placed under the protection of Mary by Bishop Pompallier in January 1838.
  • The Maori wave pattern is known as “ara moana”: the way of the sea. We are an island nation.

Bishop Patrick James Dunn was born on 5 February 1950 in England, the eldest of seven children of his parents, Dr Pat and June Dunn (both deceased), where his father was doing post-graduate study in obstetrics and gynaecology. They returned to New Zealand in December 1950 and established the family home in Remuera, Auckland.

He was educated at St Michael’s school, Remuera, Sacred Heart College, Glen Innes and the University of Auckland. He studied for priesthood at the national seminary, Holy Cross College in Mosgiel, prior to ordination in 1976.

Following ordination, his pastoral work included time with the Catholic Maori Mission and in the parishes of Mangere East, Takapuna, Pakuranga and Northcote. During this time he was also diocesan Director of Vocations.

During 1988 and 1989 he studied at the Melbourne College of Divinity to obtain his Masters Degree in Theology.

He was appointed personal assistant to Auckland’s Bishop Denis Browne in 1992 and ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Auckland on 25 July 1994. The following year, when Bishop Browne was appointed Bishop of Hamilton, Bishop Patrick was formally installed as 11th Bishop of Auckland on 29 March 1995.

He is the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Conference (NZCBC) Deputy for Holy Cross Seminary, a member of Good Shepherd College Senate and a member of the NZCBC Commission for the Church in Society. He is the New Zealand bishops’ representative at the meetings of ICEL (the International Commission for English in the Liturgy), tasked with English language liturgical translations.