Our People - "Behold, the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sins of the world.  Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb."

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Parish Priest - Father Philip Billing

Father Philip arrived in the Parish 6th September 2019.

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I was ordained in St Mary Immaculate Church Hamilton on 20th September 2002.  In 2016 I spent time in Melbourne studying at the Heart of Life Spirituality Centre, completing the "Siloam' programme, a one year formation programme for Spiritual Directors.  


Assistant Parish Priest - Father Arnold Punzalan

Arrived in the Parish 23rd January 2020, from the Philippines.

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Deacon Ricky Kuka

Deacon Ricky Kuka

Tena tatou katoa. Tenei te mihi atu ki a koutou ra i runga i te aroha o to tatou Ariki. Noku te honore ki te mihi atu i tenei wa.
I am most privileged to be chosen by God to serve His people as a Deacon. I hail from Te Puna where I live with my wife Donna, and I have five brothers and one sister. My primary school years were at St Joseph’s Convent in Te Puna, and my secondary schooling was at Hato Petera College in Auckland.
Kia ora tatou! Ma te Atua e tiaki i a tatou katoa i nga wa katoa.

Deacon Sidney Wells (Retired)

Deacon Sidney Wells (Retired)

My name is Deacon Sidney Wells, known as Sid. I am married with two children, ten grandchildren and at the moment six great grandchildren. I was ordained in England on 25th May 1991. My wife and I followed our son and daughter and their small families to come to New Zealand in September 1996, and joined St. Mary Immaculate Parish in 1997. I was asked by Bishop Denis Brown to be Port Chaplain, joined the Apostleship of the Sea as their chaplain, having served as Port Chaplain for 19 years. I assist the Priests at Mass, and have assisted with many baptisms, weddings, funerals and so on. I have also assisted with the training of the Altar servers.
Deacon Don Beckett (Retired)

Deacon Don Beckett (Retired)

Deacon Don Beckett was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Hamilton in 2013. He has served in the Parish of St Thomas Aquinas in a variety of roles: preaching, proclaiming the Gospel, celebrating baptisms, weddings and funerals, and taking Holy Communion to the sick and infirm.
Margie Cooper

Margie Cooper

Parish Administrative & Pastoral Coordinator:
I feel blessed to be a part of the Parish of St Thomas Aquinas community and to be working alongside Father Philip and the Cluny Sisters. Attending a Catholic Primary school I grew up having close connections with the Parish Community. I am a member of All Saints by-the-Sea Parish (St Thomas More Church), am married to Carl and have had a long association with St Mary’s School and Aquinas College through my children. It has been an absolute privilege to serve as a Proprietor’s Representative on the Aquinas College Board of Trustees.
Together with the Parish Pastoral Council and Father Philip, I am looking forward to being a part of the Parish Vision and Mission going into the future.

Cheryl Standring

Cheryl Standring

Pastoral Assistant
Hello, I am delighted to become part of the church team as Pastoral Assistant. I was born and raised in Hamilton but have called Tauranga home for over 30 years. I am married to Greg and have 3 adult sons and 2 beautiful granddaughters. I have worked in the community in various positions as a health Social Worker until earlier this year.
I have been a Christian for many years but didn’t have a spiritual home until my husband and I decided that we wanted to return to church. As Greg was raised a Catholic, attending St Marys School in Tauranga, that was a natural choice. Coming to St Marys felt like coming home for me, consequently I went through the RCIA programme and was confirmed and baptised as a Catholic at Easter 2004. Since then I have become a Eucharistic Minister of Holy Communion and am currently involved in one of the homegroups. I look forward to further participating in church life and serving the Lord through this ministry.

Leanne Brooks

Leanne Brooks

Hospital Chaplain:
Hi, I’m Leanne Brooks and I am the Catholic hospital chaplain based at Tauranga Hospital.
It’s a great privilege and I feel very blessed to be in this role, as I become involved in the spiritual care of patients in hospital.
Being in hospital can truly be a stressful time not only for the patient but also for family and loved ones, so please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like me to visit, or if you would simply like a listening ear!
A bit about me: I have until recently lived in Christchurch, and moved to Tauranga with my husband Hamish and our daughter Hannah – and we are loving it! I have worked in health and was previously working at Christchurch and Burwood hospitals, which I really enjoyed.
For me my heart has always been my compass, and my heart is fully about caring for people. It’s about being available to help people in a time of need and to help them understand their situation - this is something so very special.
Please say hi and know I am only too happy to come visit you or a loved one should you come into the hospital. You can telephone the Parish Office at 578 6209, or telephone me on 0210563326.


Parish Pastoral Council Members:

Father Philip 


Sue Connell

Clare Kowalewski

Shona Woodhead

Clare Sokimi

Jo Scott

Gavin Hesqua



Parish Finance Committee:

Father Philip, Ashley Hayes (Chairman), Andrew Burn, Brendon Bradley.

"In each parish there is a finance committee to help the parish priest in the administration of the goods of the parish..." (Canon Law, p.537)


Parish Contacts and Organisations

Parish Priest

Father Philip Billing

578 6209    



Assistant Priest

Father Arnold

578 6209







Parish Administrative & Pastoral Coordinator

Margie Cooper

578 6209

027 649 0549   


 Pastoral Assistant

Cheryl Standring

 578 6209



Parish Lay Worker

Mark Hassett

578 6209



Parish Finance

Ashley Hayes

578 5190

021 634 786


Parish Pastoral Council (Chair)





 Cluny Retreat Centre    578 5220    clunyretreatcentre@gmail.com
 Youth Group Contact





Matakana Island Catholic Community

Mark & Demita Ngatai

578 7638

027 210 1296



Ricky Kuka

 552 4149




Sid Wells (Retired)


027 211 6009



Don Beckett (Retired)

 576 2573  027 479 4591  donsandy@xtra.co.nz

Organists (Coordinator)

Viviene Stefadouros

544 7271

027 453 2766


Sacramental Programme

Please contact Parish office




Aquinas College Principal

Matthew Dalton

543 2400



Aquinas College D.R.S.

Susan Van Zyl

543 2400



St Mary’s Primary School Principal

James Murray

578 8066



St Mary’s Primary School D.R.S.

Teresa Rush

578 8066



R.C.I.A. (Becoming Catholic)       

Please contact Parish office

578 6209



Baptism Preparation

Parish Office

578 6209



St Vincent de Paul

Shop - Tauranga

 578 8218


Welfare Office

(Lorna Edlin)

578 3814

Ex. 2

 021 047 7144  



021 0298 7817    


 Catholic Family Support Services


 07 8563760



Marriage Preparation

Marriage Preparation (Hamilton Diocese)

For Tauranga Moana / TBA


07 8566989




or visit: www.cdh.org.nz/marriage