Social Justice


Dr. John Kleinsman, Director of the The Nathaniel Centre for Bioethics

Dunedin Diocese Tour 16-20 September 2019

John will tour our diocese talking to teachers, students and parishioners about the Nathaniel Centre’s work and why it’s important as well as some of the current ethical issues on rights to life.

ABOUT JOHN KLEINSMAN: Dr John Kleinsman has worked at The Nathaniel Centre since 2001 and was appointed Director in May 2010. He brings a varied background of community experience to his work in bioethics as a result of previous employment in the disability support and drug and alcohol rehabilitation sectors.

His PhD research focuses on the potential contributions of contemporary 'thinkers of the gift' to a renewed theology of procreation and the implications of this for ethically evaluating the transmission of human life in an age of assisted reproductive technologies. John also holds a Master's degree in moral theology from the University of Otago.

John was previously a member of the Central Region Health Research Ethics committee and serves on a number of other ethics committees and advisory committees. He continues to teach part-time for The Catholic Institute of Aotearoa New Zealand as a lecturer in moral theology and ethics.

John is married to Kerry and they have three children.

John’s Tour Schedule:

Monday 16th - Invercargill

·       Verdon College students 2:00 – 3:00pm

·       Verdon College, teachers only session 4:30-6:30pm

·       Parish session, St. Patrick’s Georgetown 7:30 - 8:30pm (koha)

Tuesday 17th - Gore and Alexandra

·      St Peter’s College students 8:15am

·      Alexandra Parish & St Gerard’s School: Combined Teachers and Parish session St Gerard’s 4:30-6:30pm

Wednesday 18th - Oamaru

·       St Kevin’s College students 12:00 – 3:00pm

·       St. Kevin’s College Combined Teachers and Parish session 4:00 - 600pm

Thursday 19th - Dunedin

·       Kavanagh College students  12:00 – 3:00pm

·     St. Bernadette's School, Teachers only session 4:30 – 6:30pm

·       Parish Session - Mercy Room, South Dunedin (40 Macandrew Rd) 7:30 - 8:30pm (koha)

Social Justice Hui - 23rd March 2019

Prayer, song and stories filled Burns Lodge at Holy Cross on Saturday March 23rd, as 60 people from around our Diocese gathered for a Social Justice Hui.  The hui was inspired by Oscar Romero’s first ever feast day that was celebrated the next day.  While our hearts were heavy with the terrorist events in Christchurch, it was a safe place to share our pain while focusing on hope.  Sr. Ann Gilroy gave us a session on Oscar Romero asking us how we can awaken to justice in our own time and place encouraged by his example.  Jo Bell gave a session to senior primary pupils on ‘being the change you want to see’ in our world.  We heard from the children and also some secondary pupils from Verdon, Logan Park, and Columba Colleges.  It was inspiring to see a how the love of justice is strong in our children and young adults and they all asked us to listen to their voice, which is not the voice of the future but of the now.  There were stories shared from around the diocese about important grass roots initiatives that are happening to bring about God’s Kingdom here in our patch of the world.  Prayer and singing were also a large part of the day, for to do this work of bringing about God’s justice, we must be rooted in our hearts of faith. 

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Refugee Powhiri Welcome Volunteer Project

Wanted: volunteers to be part of a team who welcome former refugees and migrants to our city.

We are partnering with Araiteuru Marae, the Red Cross, Dunedin Multi-Ethnic Council and other community organisations to create a uniquely Dunedin welcome for newly-arrived former refugees and migrants. This will involve hosting four powhiri a year. We need 10-15 volunteers from our community to be part of this important venture. Even if your knowledge of the Maori language and Maori customs is very limited you are still very welcome to be part of this.

What is involved:

1.    Come along to the Powhiri at Araiteuru Marae on Saturday July 14 from 10.45am -4.00pm. Once you have been part of the powhiri welcome you are considered family and can then be among those who show hospitality. (If you can’t make it on this day other arrangements can be made.)

2.    There will be a training day for volunteers. Date to be advised

3.    Then commit to some of the powhiri (even 1-2 a year) as part of the hospitality team.

For more information speak to Fr Gerard ( or Lynne Toomey ( 

JustPeace Dunedin

 Doing justice, loving mercifully and walking humbly with God ( Micah 6:8)

There is a new Dunedin Justice and Peace Committee called JustPeace Dunedin starting up in our Diocese. Meetings are held at 7pm every 4th Thursday of the month at the offices of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, 518 Castle Street.  Please come and join us or contact Lynne Toomey ( or Jeremy Simons ( for further details.



Catholic Social Teaching Resources

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is the Catholic Bishops’ agency for justice, peace and development. We are working on behalf of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference for a world free of poverty and injustice through community development, advocacy, education, and emergency relief. Click here

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Click here

Faith Doing Justice is a great website full of great resources on Catholic Social Teaching. Click here

 Eureka Street is a publication of the Australian Jesuits. It existed as a monthly, and briefly bi-monthly, print magazine for 16 years, commencing in March 1991. Today it exists as a vibrant online journal of analysis, commentary and reflection on current issues in the worlds of politics, religion and culture. It aims to participate in public discussion and influence public opinion regarding the Things That Matter in Australia and the world. Click here