Today in Wellington, Dr Anne Tuohy was formally welcomed to her new role as the inaugural Director of The Catholic Institute of Aotearoa New Zealand. Members of Dr Tuohy’s family, along with Bishop Peter Cullinane, representatives of the local Maori community, The Catholic Institute staff and board members, and Interim Principal Paul Ferris attended the whakatau held in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
Originally from Wellington, Dr Tuohy was appointed Director of The Catholic Institute in November of last year while she was a Senior Lecturer at the Australian Catholic University’s School of Theology in Strathfield.
At the whakatau Dr Tuohy said, “I feel very honoured and a little overwhelmed at the open hearted welcome I have received from the community and would like to thank all the people who have made this exciting job a reality. I am also deeply appreciative of the love and support of my family – and in light of the recent death of my Father this ‘coming home’ is for me even more timely”.
Chairperson of The Catholic Institute Council, Patrick Waite, welcomed Dr Tuohy, and Bishop Cullinane thanked Paul Ferris for his work in setting the foundations for the Institute. There was a commissioning and anointing ceremony for Dr Tuohy, and staff members lit candles in the colours of The Catholic Institute logo.
Dr Tuohy said she looked forward to “working together to help foster and nurture the work of the Institute – work that we pray brings the ‘living water’ referred to in the reading from John’s gospel to the Catholic community of Aotearoa New Zealand. To do this successfully not only will we need to support each other but that I will need those present to share their wisdom and experience”.
Dr Tuohy is originally from Wellington and has distinguished career of teaching and research in Catholic theology and in the formation of leaders of institutions in a pastoral and educational outreach and response. She has taught across all levels of the educational system in New Zealand, England and Australia. She is currently the Assistant Head of School at the Australian Catholic University and is on a number of internal and external committees and professional associations.
Dr Tuohy holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the Australian Catholic University; a Master of Theology from the Sydney College of Divinity in New South Wales, Australia, and a Diploma of Teaching from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She was a recipient of the Brian Murray Scholarship for Theological Studies and the Catholic University Post-Graduate Award for Doctoral Studies Scholarship.
Her main teaching area is in Systematic or Foundational theology with a particular emphasis on theologies of social critique and sacramental theology. More recently, Anne has become involved in the relationship between theology and the social sciences and is currently working with initiatives involving the Catholic Health Care sector.
Dr Tuohy’s publications include “On Being Pastoral”, which she co-authored with Associate Professor Patrick McArdle. Her conference presentations and workshops have explored themes such as religious education “beyond the school gates”, new models of formation, the discipleship of equals, and maintaining the dignity of the human person in disability services.
The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference established The Catholic Institute to provide formation for those involved in education and pastoral ministry in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the opportunity to engage in research and discussion in all areas of the Church and its ministries. The six diocesan bishops are the trustees of The Catholic Institute.