Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

First Filipino Priest ordained in Wellington enhances closer spiritual ties between Philippines and New Zealand

/ news

Rev. Fr. Dennis Tapay Nacorda who hails from the province of Bohol in the Visayas region of the Philippines was the first Filipino priest to be ordained at the St. Patrick’s College Chapel, Silverstream, Upper Hutt, Greater Wellington on 10 August 2013. The solemn ordination rite was led by Archbishop John A. Dew, DD, Archbishop of Wellington, Principal Celebrant together with Fr. David Dowling, Msgr. Peter Jeffrey, Fr. Alan Roberts, Fr. David Kennerley SM and Msgr. Gerard Burns as Principal Concelebrants. Several priests from different parts of New Zealand among them Fr. Elmer Ibarra, SVD, Parish Priest of St. Patrick’s Church in Wainuiomata and Fr. Bernard Espiritu, SVD, Director of Mission NZ from the Philippines, Mr. Joel Nacorda, brother of Fr. Dennis, Philippine Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez, members of the Filipino community, parishioners, friends and their families witnessed the moving and meaningful ordination rite of Fr. Dennis. Deacon Douglas Shepherd, Deacon Sherwin Lapaan, Servers Ferdinand Miranda, Joseph Faure, Felix Faure, Lagi Aukusitino and Alesana Launiuva and the choirs from the Our Lady of Grace Parish Music Group and Samoan Choir and the Filipino Chaplaincy and Organist Trevor Cavill provided the necessary support and arrangements on this significant occasion. As Fr. Dennis offered his life of thanksgiving and service to GOD in his priestly ministry, he conveyed his deep appreciation to his family, Archbishop John Dew, all the priests and deacons, parishes of Our Lady of Grace in Heretaunga, Upper Hutt, St. Francis Xavier in Stokes Valley, Upper Hutt, St. Mary’s in Blenheim, Holy Cross Seminary, Good Shepherd College, Filipino Chaplaincy, Fr. David Dowling, Fr. Alan Roberts, close friends Lindsay and Win and all those who journeyed with him on the road to priesthood.

Ambassador Benavidez hosted a dinner in honour of Fr. Dennis at “Ang Bahay” (Philippine Ambassador’s residence) on 16 August 2013 attended by priests, parish council officers, school principal, music ministry members and Filipino community members who have become part of his spiritual life. She warmly welcomed all of them to a Filipino home where a special gathering has been organized to thank GOD for the life and ministry of Fr. Dennis whose upbringing, training and pastoral placement both in the Philippines and New Zealand have set him apart for his distinctive calling to priesthood and a lifetime of service to GOD’s Kingdom. “As Fr. Dennis embarks on his priestly duties and activities for the Archdiocese of Wellington, he brings with him our heartfelt prayers and continued support for all his endeavours. His family back home in the Philippines, the Philippine Embassy personnel, the Filipino community and friends in New Zealand feel proud and are greatly honoured and heartened by Fr. Dennis’ unwavering commitment and sacrificial service to accomplish his GOD-given mission. As he serves as Assistant Priest in Our Lady of Grace Parish, Fr. Dennis is a valuable partner in reaching out to and connecting with Filipinos, New Zealanders and people from other countries,” Ambassador Benavidez stated.

In his remarks, Fr. Dennis reiterated his gratitude to Ambassador Benavidez for hosting a thanksgiving dinner in his honour and to his guests for their presence on this significant occasion. “I am touched and humbled by your sincere and steadfast support as I continue my spiritual journey in service to GOD and fellowmen. I will treasure in my heart the prayers, kindness, trust, generosity, love, comfort and care that have been my source of strength as I pursued my priestly ministry in this beautiful country and among the wonderful people of New Zealand.

Fr. Dennis graduated with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2001 from the Central Mindanao University where he was a consistent scholar, passed the Licensure Examination for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in the same year, was employed as a veterinarian until 2004 and joined the Mission Society of the Philippines from 2004-2010. His ecclesiastical related studies covered a Certificate in Philosophy, Ecclesiastical Theology and A.B. Theology at the Divine Word School of Theology in Tagaytay City, Philippines where he graduated magna cum laude. His pastoral placement were in Kyotangoshi Block and Fushimi-Momoyama-Yawata Block, Kyoto, Japan and Kouenji Catholic Church, Tokyo, Japan from 2008-2010 and St. Mary’s Parish, Bleinheim, New Zealand in 2011. The ordination of Fr. Dennis in the Diaconate took place on 29 September 2012 at the Sacred Heart Parish in Auckland and in the Presbyterate on 10 August 2013 at St. Patrick’s College Chapel at Silverstream, Upper Hutt, Greater Wellington. He was appointed Deacon and Assistant Priest at Our Lady of Grace Parish, Heretaunga, Upper Hutt from December 2012 to 9 August 2013 and 10 August 2013 until the present, respectively.

All the guests conveyed their deep appreciation to Ambassador Benavidez for the wonderful and memorable thanksgiving dinner and fellowship in honour of Fr. Dennis and the warm and gracious hospitality and Filipino gustatory delights amidst the distinctively Filipino ambience and amazing table setting of “Ang Bahay”.

Next Post Previous Post