Joseph Ro­manos

Talks to Arch­bishop John Dew about meet­ing Pope Bene­dict XVI, study­ing hor­ti­cul­ture and whether he wished he had a fam­ily.

Kapi-Mana News - - FEATURE -

You grew up in Waipuku­rau. Was it a farm up­bring­ing?

My fa­ther had a trans­port com­pany busi­ness but I spent a lot of time on farms. I had cousins who lived on farms and would visit them dur­ing hol­i­days.

Was your house­hold par­tic­u­larly re­li­gious?

Dad wasn’t a Catholic but mum was. She was very in­volved in the parish. We went to the lo­cal con­vent school and to church but re­li­gion wasn’t an overly dom­i­nant in­flu­ence.

What did you think you might be when you grew up?

En­ter­ing col­lege, I had thoughts of teach­ing and also the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion but they were re­ally only thoughts. What col­lege did you at­tend? St Joseph’s in Master­ton. It did cross my mind then that I might like to be a brother. The sug­ges­tion was al­ways put to you. How­ever, I went back and did a hor­ti­cul­ture course in Napier then worked in a nurs­ery.

So you didn’t go into the sem­i­nary straight away?

No, I was nearly 22 when I went in.

Once you were in the sem­i­nary, were you con­flicted about whether choice?

No. I knew it was the right thing. At times I might have wished it wasn’t but I knew it was.

How does it work in the priest­hood – do you set out to ad­vance through the ranks?

Most priests set out to be avail­able to serve the peo­ple. I knew I wanted to be a parish priest but you don’t re­ally plot a ca­reer path.

So how are tal­ented priests

it was the right iden­ti­fied and pro­moted?

Your abil­ity to get on with peo­ple and be ef­fi­cient in what you do is im­por­tant. The se­lec­tion of bish­ops is guided by how they re­late to peo­ple, how they cel­e­brate mass, their ad­min­is­tra­tive abil­ity and so on. When he needs to, the bishop ap­proaches the pa­pal rep­re­sen­ta­tive and says ‘‘we need a new bishop’’. There is a ques­tion­naire that looks at qual­i­ties and achieve­ments. Three names are sup­plied with a lot of

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