John Rodgers (New Zealand bishop)

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John Hubert Macey Rodgers, CMG, SM (9 October 1915 – 10 January 1997) was a Missionary bishop. He was Vicar Apostolic of Tonga and Niue (1953-1966) Bishop of Tonga (1966-1973) then Bishop of Rarotonga (1973-1977), Auxiliary Bishop of Auckland (1977-1985), Superior of the Mission, Funafuti, Tuvalu (1986).

Biography[edit]

Rodgers was born in Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand on 9 October 1915.[1] After receiving his secondary education at St Patrick's College, Wellington and St Patrick's College, Silverstream, he studied to be a Marist priest at Mt St Mary's Seminary, Greenmeadows.[1] He was professed in the Society of Mary (Marists) in 1936 and was ordained a priest on 15 December 1940. A year later he went to Tonga and was principal of 'Api Fo'ou College.[1] In 1953 he was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Tonga and was consecrated bishop in St Mary of the Angels, Wellington. Rodgers attended Sessions 1, 3 and 4 of the Vatican II Council.

He became Bishop of Tonga when Tonga was created a diocese in 1966. He resigned the see in 1972 to make way for an indigenous bishop Bishop Patrick Finau.[1] He became Bishop of Rarotonga in 1973. Amongst his achievements in the Cook Islands, he founded Nukutere College in 1975.

After his resignation from that see, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Auckland to assist Bishop John Mackey.[1] In 1979 he was made a companion of the Order of St Michael and St George. In 1985 he was appointed superior of the Catholic mission of Funafuti, Tuvalu and Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific, but retired to Auckland in 1986 because of ill health.

Death[edit]

He died on 10 January 1997, aged 81.[2] He was buried on 14 January 1997 at Kalevalio Cemetery, Ma'ufanga, Tonga.[1]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Joseph-Felix Blanc SM
Vicar Apostolic of Tonga
1953-1957
Succeeded by
New Title
Preceded by
New Title
Vicar Apostolic of Tonga and Niue
1957-1966
Succeeded by
New Title
Preceded by
New Title
1st Bishop of Tonga
1966-1973
Succeeded by
Patelisio Punou-Ki-Hihifo Finau
Preceded by
Hendrick Joseph Cornelius Maria de Cocq SS.CC.
2nd Bishop of Rarotonga
1973-1977
Succeeded by
Denis Browne (bishop)
Preceded by
-
Auxiliary Bishop of Auckland
1977-1985
Succeeded by
-
Preceded by
New Title
Superior of the Mission, Funafuti, Tuvalu
1985-1986
Succeeded by
Camille DesRosiers SM

Bishop John Hubert Macey Rodgers SM, Catholic Hierarchy website (accessed 15 February 2011)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Mullins 1998, p. xv.
  2. ^ Dorothy Coup, "Death of bishop who led Tongans", NZ Catholic, Sunday, 19 January 1997, p. 1

References[edit]

  • Mullins, David W. (1998). A Man with a Mission: Bishop John Rodgers SM of Tonga. Auckland: Catholic Publications.