Fr. Darren McFarlane – Cathedral Administrator
In September 2018 the Bishop appointed me to serve the parish as a member of the Cathedral clergy and as Parish Priest of St Matthews Hillcrest. Each of us has our stories and events which are significant markers in our lives. I was born and grew up in the small Rangitikei town of Marton. As a teenager, the family moved to Tauranga city and I attended Tauranga Boys College. The call to be a priest led me to the National Seminary which at that time was in Mosgiel, Dunedin. I was ordained to the priesthood in 1997 for the Diocese of Hamilton and since then have served in many parishes around the Diocese. As fellow pilgrims along the journey of faith, we join together as a parish and share the mission that Christ has entrusted to us.
Fr Matthew Gibson – Assistant Priest
Andrea Savage – Pastoral Assistant
Andrea has been with the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a Pastoral Assistant since 1991. Andrea assists and co-ordinates many things around our parish and parish community with a particular focus on meeting people and assisting them to prepare well for the significant milestones on their faith journey.
“I work in collaboration with all the other office staff, the parish clergy, Cathedral Pastoral Leadership Team and many willing volunteers. I try to ensure that parishioners and others who make contact with me in this role receive a good experience of the church and feel that I have taken the time to listen to them and to be of assistance.
“Having been baptised here (last Millenium!) and having a high level of involvement with the redevelopment of the Cathedral in 2008 the parish and its people hold a special place in my heart. I am also proud of Mum to two wonderful adults “children”.
“I assist in the preparation of liturgy for many ceremonies within the parish, oversee the coordination of liturgical rosters and ensure that those involved in liturgical ministry are trained. I have had many years involvement on a team that organises the Ecumenical liturgies with St Peters Anglican Cathedral.
“I coordinate all sacramental preparation – am a catechist for most of these programmes, and over many years, I have developed a variety of teaching resources to help people come to know the Sacraments. In this role, I deal with people at all ages and stages of life and at varying points of their faith journey – from the newborn baby to the inquisitive child and then to our very wise older parish members, those who are cradle Catholics, those new to the Catholic faith, those experiencing joy and those experiencing sadness. It is both rewarding and a great privilege to share parishioner’s journeys. I have considerable contact with families experiencing bereavement and work alongside the families, priest and funeral directors to organise funeral liturgies. I am often asked to advise people who wish to plan their own funerals, so their loved ones will be aware of their wishes when the time comes.
“I maintain an involvement with the Catholic schools and Jubilee Early Childhood Centre, often taking classes of children from local schools- and those further afield- on “mini-pilgrimages” through our beautiful Cathedral. I serve on the Marian School Board of Trustees as a Proprietors representative.
“I ensure that Parish records and registers are kept up to date.”
Shelley Vincent – Finance Administration
Shelley returned to the parish as Parish Secretary after 7 years working for a land survey company in Cambridge. She now works remotely from Tauranga as our Finance Admin. Previously Shelley worked at the Cathedral as an assistant administrator and secretary to the Cathedral Redevelopment Committee. She was also parish secretary at St Mary Immaculate Tauranga before returning to the Waikato in 2005.
Lila Billman – Administration
Lila joined the office team in 2017. She provides office based support focusing on newsletters, powerpoints, website management and parishioner communications. Lila has x3 children who attend Marian Catholic School. Lila is involved in music ministry both in the Cathedral community and for the School.
Frania Crowley – Administration
Frania works part-time in the parish office doing a mixture of finance and administration. Frania’s x3 children also attend Marian Catholic School.
John-Paul Schryvers – Pastoral Assistant for Youth
J.P is our newest team member, overseeing the youth ministries of the Parish full-time in 2021. He hails from Nelson and served as a missionary with NET ministries in Brisbane (2019) and then in the Diocese of Hamilton (2020). J.P loves biking, making music, baking (..actually just eating it) and working with young people.
His role includes facilitating the Parish’s intermediate and high school youth groups, as well as assisting in the rite of Christian Initiation for children and high school students.