BA(Hons), GradDip(Education), GradDip(Theology), MA (Theol), PhD
Cecilia received her doctorate from the University of Divinity at the end of 2019. This was the culmination of a long search to the question of what it means to live with Authority and Authenticity as a Multiracial, post-colonial, Asian and Catholic woman of the Church viz-a-viz the complex crises facing the Church.
For most of her career, Cecilia taught English, Literature and Religion to highschool students in Singapore and later Melbourne, where she was English Coordinator, Religious Education Coordinator and Pastoral Care Coordinator. Her vocation as teacher has always been steeped in the charism and spirituality of St. John Baptiste De La Salle, patron of teachers, and now further augmented by insights from Bernard Lonergan’s work. Lonergan’s Cognitional Theory and Transcendental Method have enriched and sharpened her pedagogy, philosophy, and theology.
In 2005, she enrolled at YTU to pursue a Grad Dip in Theology, followed later by a MA in Theology where she first encountered Bernard Lonergan, via Lector Emeritus, Kathleen Williams, rsm, who later supervised Cecilia’s MA thesis and PhD dissertation from 2015 to 2019. In the same year, Cecilia was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship with The Lonergan Institute at Boston College for 2020. Cecilia was also the University of Divinity Vice-Chancellor’s Scholar (YTU) for 2020. Since August of 2020 up to the current time, Cecilia has been advancing her research in Lonerganian studies and the intersection with race, feminism, political theology, culture, doctrines, history and the question of dialectic.
During the course of researching and writing her dissertation, Cecilia continued professionally as a Pastoral Associate at St.Clement’s Church in Bulleen, where she organised and facilitated several formation programmes to to the community besides other pastoral initiatives in collaboration with the Parish Priest, Mgr. Franco Cavarra. She was also the executive secretary of APTO (Association of Practical Theology Oceania, Inc, up till the time of the move to Boston in October 2020. Her continued involvement in the community included teaching pro bono to Non-English Speaking Students engaged in Theological Studies at YTU. Another community involvement was with The Open Door, a Spiritual Centre under the auspices of the Sisters of St.John of God, in Dandenong. She also volunteered to teach English to newly arrived migrants at the local parish in Dandenong.
Cecilia has presented several papers at various conferences including those organised by APTO, ANZATS, and ACTA, The Australian Lonergan Workshop,the Archdiocese of Melbourne, The Open Door, and at Dorish Maru where she hopes to continue her association. Her latest teaching experience was with graduate students at Boston College, on the theme of “Authentic Authority as fidelity to Divine Authority.”
Her teaching vocation has taken on significant personal meaning with her involvement with the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy Australia and PNG, where she will teach theology to the religious sisters of PNG and the Solomons, in partnership with the Divine Word University, Port Moresby. The vision and aim is to provide access to needed theological education to the religious sisters as part of their own professional and personal development to respond to the pastoral needs of the people of PNG and the Solomons. Cecilia received her accreditation to teach at YTU from 2022 onwards and is looking forward to engaging with students and staff of a College that holds a highly significant connection for her. She similarly holds an accreditation to teach theology in New Zealand Catholic Colleges.
Accredited teaching disciplines
- Association of Practical Theology, Oceania (Past Executive Secretary/member)
- ANZATS (Member)
- ACTA (Member)
- Lonergan Institute, Boston College (Fellow)
- Australian Lonergan Workshop (Member)
- Institute of Sisters of Mercy Australia, and PNG (Lecturer)
- The Open Door (Core Team member)