MEET THE TEAM
Originally from Pukekohe, I studied Philosophy at Waikato, then spent 5 and a half years studying theology and discerning the priesthood at Holy Cross Seminary in Auckland. When, after a major epiphany, I decided to leave the seminary, the adventure of discernment continued, taking me to the UK, where I got married to Cheryl and then started my PhD in theology just before the birth of our first child, Daisy-Ann, in 2011. After three years away I returned to New Zealand with my little family, completed my studies, and worked for four years in young adult formation at the Catholic Discipleship College. That time at CDC saw the arrival of two more children, Abigail (2015) and Joachim (2018). Since May 2019 I have had the privilege to serve in the chaplaincy. I am very grateful to have this opportunity to be around people engaged in a lively search for the truth.
MARIANA SIERRA ALONSO
Born and raised in Hawera, Taranaki, In 2016 I made the choice to pursue the catholic faith that led to my baptism that Easter in the St Joseph’s Hawera Catholic Church. I attended a few camps and festivals over the next few years but I was attending a church that was experiencing a shortage of teens. There was plenty of young primary school aged children and adults, but very little of students my own age. Often you could point out that I was the only high school student at Sunday mass. This made following my faith very difficult with nobody to share in it with. Then in February of 2019 I made the move to Auckland to start studying at AUT where I completed my first year in the Bachelor of Health Science in Paramedicine. I moved to Auckland CBD from a town of 10,000 knowing LITERALLY NOBODY. Attending the Auckland Catholic Tertiary Chaplaincy for the first time was so weird. I could not believe how many students there were who were open to journeying together on the path to Heaven. ACTC was my saving grace in my first year, After a very difficult year, and experiencing so much grief and loss; at the end I felt the calling to take on a role at the Chaplaincy and put my studies on hold. So I followed the calling and I can’t wait to see where it leads me.