Respected church leader assaulted while walking in Fendalton

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Apr 26, 2023 |

Assistant Priest Rev Alister Castillo was attacked in Fendalton while walking to Christchurch Hospital to carry out Chaplain duties

A respected church leader was attacked while trying to help an injured person in Fendalton, but the culprits responsible for the violent incident are still unknown.

The attack occurred on Good Friday, around 1:00am.

The victim, Assistant Priest Rev Alister Castillo, who serves at the Catholic Parish of Christchurch North, was on his way to Christchurch Hospital to carry out Chaplain duties when he spotted what he believed to be an injured person lying on Kotare Street near Fendalton Park.

He immediately stopped to lend a helping hand, but instead of gratitude, he was viciously attacked by three unknown assailants.

The perpetrators fled the scene, and their identities are still unknown.

Father Castillo has been off work since the attack.

Assistant Priest Rev Alister Castillo, who serves at the Catholic Parish of Christchurch North

Several members of the church contacted Chris Lynch Media expressing their concern about the incident while describing Castillo as an outstanding and kind-hearted member of their parish.

Reflecting on the incident, in an email to parishioners, Castillo said, “I’m recovering well, and despite all the ‘what ifs,’ I consider myself extremely lucky. I have no doubt that the Lord was protecting me.”

He also urged the community to pray for the attackers, hoping that they would reflect on their actions.

Castillo expressed his heartfelt gratitude to everyone who offered their support and prayers during his recovery.

He hopes to return to his duties soon and stated “from the bottom of my heart, I wish to thank you for your prayers and support over the last three weeks, and I hope to be back on deck next week (fingers crossed).”

Castillo was ordained in 2017, and at the time was thought to be the youngest priest in New Zealand.

A police spokesperson said they received a report of an assault on Kotare Street, Fendalton on Saturday 8 April.

The assault occurred on Friday 7 April about 1am.

“One person received injuries. Enquiries into the incident are ongoing.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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