St Patrick's Cathedral, Auckland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
St Patrick's Cathedral
Cathedral of Saint Patrick and Saint Joseph
Cathedral of Saint Patrick and Saint Joseph.jpg
Auckland, St Patrick's Square
Coordinates: 36°50′47″S 174°45′49″E / 36.8465°S 174.7635°E / -36.8465; 174.7635
LocationAuckland Central City
CountryNew Zealand
WebsiteSt Patricks Cathedral Parish
Founder(s)Bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier, 1st Bishop of Auckland
Dedicated23 February 1908
Consecrated1 September 1963
Heritage designationCategory I
Designated6 September 1984
Architect(s)Edward and Thomas Mahoney
Architectural typeGothic Revival style
ParishSt Patricks Cathedral Parish
Bishop(s)Bishop Patrick James Dunn, 11th Bishop of Auckland (1994-present)
Priest(s)Pa Peter Tipene (Dean)
Assistant priest(s)Fr George Carlos SDB
Director of musicJames Tibbles
Organist(s)James Tibbles

The Cathedral of St Patrick and St Joseph (usually known as St Patrick's Cathedral) is a Catholic church in Auckland CBD, situated on the corner of Federal Street and Wyndham St. It is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Auckland and the cathedral of the Bishop of Auckland. It was founded by Bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier, the first Catholic bishop in New Zealand.


The normal Mass times are:

  • Sunday, 8am, 11am, 4.30pm & 7pm;
  • Monday to Friday, 7 am & 12.15 pm;
  • Public Holidays and Saturdays, 8.30am.[1]


It is on the original site granted by the Crown to Jean Baptiste Pompallier, the first Bishop, on 1 June 1841. To minister to the 300 or 400, mostly Irish, Catholics in Auckland in the 1840s, a wooden chapel, clergy house and school room (the first amenity ready for use) were opened and blessed on 29 January 1843. Work soon began on a more permanent church. In 1845, the Australian architect Walter Robinson arrived in Auckland on the encouragement of Pompallier and he was commissioned to design a stone church. The new church was built on the original grant of land and situated on the corner of Chapel Street (now Federal Street) and Wyndham St.


St Patrick's Cathedral interior (2010)

At first referred to as a chapel, and then a church, St Patrick's became the Catholic Cathedral when Auckland was made a diocese in 1848 and when Pompallier, after a visit to France and Rome, returned to Auckland in April 1850, and made the city (then the capital of New Zealand) his headquarters. This simple, plain church, seating 700, was built of locally quarried hammered scoria and had a very substantial appearance similar to others designed by Walter Robinson at this time.[2]


The north side of the cathedral

On 4 May 1884, the foundation stone of a new (24.4m by 12.2m) nave was laid, and the old stone church became the transept, the altar, for which a recess was built in 1895, being on the east wall. The architect for this major addition was Edward Mahoney.[2] Between 1884 and 1885, the nave was extended according to Edward's scheme.[3] The nave had a tower, and the bells for this were brought from Rome. The organ was brought from Brompton Oratory, London for £600. The new addition was opened on 15 March 1885 by Archbishop Redwood, the Archbishop of Wellington.[2]

Edward Mahoney's son and architectural partner, Thomas Mahoney, was ultimately responsible, by 1907, for the final demolition of the 1848 church, the further extension of the nave (by 12.2 metres), the addition of a sanctuary, the construction of four sacristies and two side chapels, and the addition of three ample entrance porches (one constituting the Baptistry). The building was transformed from a modest structure into a large and impressive building befitting its status as the Catholic cathedral of Auckland.[3] On 23 February 1908, the newly reconstructed building–the present St Patrick's Cathedral–was opened, in the presence of a capacity congregation of 1,300,[4] by Cardinal Moran the Archbishop of Sydney.[2]

The West doors and belfry of the cathedral


On 1 September 1963, St Patrick's Cathedral, free of debt and built in permanent materials, was solemnly consecrated by Archbishop Liston.[2]



The Administrators[9] of the Cathedral have included the following priests:

  • John Baptist Petit-Jean (1842-1845)
  • John Forest (1845-1850)
  • Henry Fynes (1850-1852)
  • James McDonald (1852-1869)
  • Michael O'Hara (1869-1871)
  • Walter McDonald (1871-1886)
  • Patrick Costello (1887)
  • Victor Thomas (1888)
  • James Hackett (1889-1895)
  • W J Madden (1895-1897)
  • Thomas Mulvihill (1897-1898)
  • Patrick O'Reilly (1899-1901)
  • James Patterson (1901-1905)
  • Henry Holbrook (1905-1913)
  • Matthew Brodie (1913-1915)
  • Jeremiah Cahill (1915-1916)
  • William Murphy (1916-1918)
  • John Brennan (1918-1919)
  • William Forde (1919-1921)
  • John Brennan (1921-1923)
  • John Bradley (1924-1925)
  • Leonard Buxton (1925-1942)
  • Adrian Curran (1942-1970)
  • Brian Arahill (1971- 1989)
  • (????)
  • Michael Bancroft (1998-1999)
  • Bernard Kiely (1999-2017)
  • Peter Tipene (2017-present)


  1. ^ St Patrick's Cathedral, Auckland (Retrieved 21 June 2014)
  2. ^ a b c d e Frances Porter (ed), Historic Buildings of New Zealand: North Island, "Auckland Inner City Churches" (text by Hilary Reid), St Patrick's Cathedral, Cassell New Zealand for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Dunedin, 1975(?), pp. 113 and 114.
  3. ^ a b Peter Shaw. 'Mahoney, Edward; Mahoney, Thomas - Biography', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 1-Sep-10 URL: [1].
  4. ^ Ernest Simmonds, The Story of St. Patrick's, p. 15.
  5. ^ Peter Grace, "Generous benefactors' graves are restored", NZ Catholic, 20 May 2012, p. 19.
  6. ^ Ernest Simmonds, The Story of St. Patrick's, p. 20.
  7. ^ "Cathedral church of St Patrick and St Joseph (Catholic)". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
  8. ^ Otto, Michael (9 January 2014). "Bishop laid to rest in Auckland cathedral". NZ Catholic. p. 11.
  9. ^ Ernest Simmonds, The Story of St. Patrick's, p. 25.


  • Frances Porter (ed), Historic Buildings of New Zealand: North Island, Cassell New Zealand for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Dunedin, 1975.
  • E.R. Simmons, A Brief History of the Catholic Church in New Zealand, Catholic Publication Centre, Auckland, 1978.
  • E.R. Simmons, In Cruce Salus, A History of the Diocese of Auckland 1848 - 1980, Catholic Publication Centre, Auckland 1982.
  • Earnest Simmons, The Story of St Patrick's, Catholic Diocese of Auckland(?), Auckland, 1985.

External links[edit]