Reginald Delargey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

His Eminence

Reginald Delargey
Cardinal, Archbishop of Wellington
Term ended29 January 1979
PredecessorPeter McKeefry
SuccessorThomas Williams
Other post(s)Cardinal-Priest of Immacolata al Tiburtino
Ordination19 March 1938
Consecration27 February 1958
Created cardinal24 May 1976
by Paul VI
Personal details
Born(1914-12-10)10 December 1914
Died29 January 1979(1979-01-29) (aged 64)
Auckland, New Zealand
BuriedWellington's Sacred Heart Cathedral
NationalityNew Zealander
Styles of
Reginald Delargey
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Reginald John Delargey (10 December 1914 – 29 January 1979) was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Auckland, and later Cardinal, Archbishop of Wellington and Metropolitan of New Zealand. His title was Cardinal-Priest of Immacolata al Tiburtino.

Early life[edit]

Reginald Delargey was born in Timaru, one of six children. The family moved several times during Delargey's early years, and Delargey was sent to Auckland to receive his secondary education as a boarder at Sacred Heart College. His mother died in 1929, three years before Delargey commenced his studies for the priesthood at Holy Cross College, Mosgiel, where his considerable academic potential was recognised and he was sent to Rome to complete his studies at the Pontifical Urbaniana University.[citation needed]


Delargey was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Auckland in Rome on 19 March 1938. After returning to New Zealand, he worked in the parish of Takapuna and at St Patrick's Cathedral, Auckland. From 1940 to 1947 he was Director of Catholic Social Services for the Diocese of Auckland. He also served as director of the Catholic Youth Movement and was the chaplain at St Peter's College for 18 years.[1] In 1953, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal.[2]

Bishop of Auckland[edit]

Delargey was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Auckland on 25 November 1957. During his time as Auxiliary Bishop he attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II). Twelve years after his appointment as Auxiliary, Delargey was appointed as Bishop of Auckland on 18 September 1970 following the retirement of Archbishop James Liston.

As bishop, he adopted a humble and open style of leadership, putting into practice the ideas and principles of Vatican II. After four years as Bishop of Auckland, and after the death of Cardinal Peter McKeefry he was translated to the Metropolitan See in Wellington and became its Archbishop on 25 April 1974.

Archbishop of Wellington[edit]

Although not from Wellington, Delargey built a strong relationship with the people and clergy of the Archdiocese as a result of his openness, humility and sincerity. As Archbishop he continued to promote the work of the Catholic Youth Movement – as he had previously done in Auckland – and was particularly conscious of the needs of minority groups both in the Archdiocese and throughout New Zealand. Delargey was created Cardinal priest on 24 May 1976 by Pope Paul VI and received the title of Inmmacolata al Tiburtino. From 1976 to 1979 he was head of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops' Conference and played a key role in the negotiations with the government and teachers' unions that culminated in the integration of Catholic schools into the State funded system in New Zealand. Despite failing health, he participated in the conclaves of August and October 1978. He died in Auckland in 1979 and was buried from Wellington's Sacred Heart Cathedral. He was succeeded by Thomas Stafford Williams.


Delargey Street in Hillsborough, Auckland was named in honor of Delargey in the early 1980s.[3]


  1. ^ Foreword by R J Delargey, St Peter's College Magazine 1970, p. 3: "For years, St Peter's was my second home. Mass in the morning for the Brothers, and classes for the boys was the routine for over eighteen years".
  2. ^ "Coronation Medal" (PDF). Supplement to the New Zealand Gazette. No. 37. 3 July 1953. pp. 1021–1035. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  3. ^ Reidy, Jade (2013). Not Just Passing Through: the Making of Mt Roskill (2nd ed.). Auckland: Puketāpapa Local Board. p. 154. ISBN 978-1-927216-97-2. OCLC 889931177. Wikidata Q116775081.


  • St Peter's College Magazine 1970, St Peter's College, Auckland.
  • Felix Donnelly, One Priest's Life, Australia and New Zealand Book Company, Auckland, 1982, pp. 7–17.
  • E.R. Simmons, In Cruce Salus, A History of the Diocese of Auckland 1848 – 1980, Catholic Publication Centre, Auckland 1982.
  • Thomas J. Ryder, Following all Your Ways, Lord – Recollections of Fr Thomas J. Ryder (transcribed and compiled by Margaret Paton) (Privately published, no date – perhaps early 1990s).
  • Rory Sweetman, A Fair and Just Solution? A History of the Integration of Private Schools in New Zealand, Dunmore Press, Palmerston North, 2002.
  • Nicholas Reid, James Michael Liston: A Life, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2006.
  • Nicholas Reid, The Life and Work of Reginald John Delargey Cardinal, Catholic Diocese of Auckland/Pindar, Auckland, 2008.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Auckland
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Auckland
Succeeded by
Preceded by Archbishop of Wellington
Succeeded by