Kathleen Rushton RSM

March - May 2017 | The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

I am a member of Nga Whaea Atawhai Sisters of Mercy and live in Otautahi Christchurch where I have spent most of my adult life. My rural upbringing on a South Canterbury hill country farm in sight of the Southern Alps has influenced my life profoundly.

I have worked as a secondary teacher and in youth ministry. In mid-life, I studied at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the Brisbane College of Theology. I was awarded my PhD in John’s gospel by Griffith University in 2000. I teach Scripture for The Catholic Institute of Aotearoa New Zealand contracted by the Christchurch Catholic Education Office. Previously, I tutored for the Ecumenical Institute of Distance Theological Studies.

I companion people in spiritual direction, convene a diocesan committee forming teams for parish Retreats in Daily Life, participate in a Christian Life Community and am consultor for Te Wairua Mahi: Forming Spiritual Directors in the Ignatian Tradition. Since 2010, I have served as a trustee of Marralomeda, a Christian community for people with intellectual disabilities.

The call of Sisters of Mercy nationally and internationally to integrate scripture and tradition with cosmology, ecology and science led to my research project on the Johannine Prologue as the 2011 Cardinal Hume Visiting Scholar at Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, Cambridge, UK. Since then, I have explored ways of using the eschatological cosmology of the Prologue as a framework to interpret the gospel which follows and the implications for spirituality and ecology today.

I delight in making sound biblical scholarship accessible and linking this to everyday faith and spirituality. For example, I write a monthly reflection on the Sunday Lectionary gospels in Tui Motu InterIslands (www.tuimotu.org). At Vaughan Park, I shall work on writing an accessible book in which I shall reshape my eschatological, cosmological framework to explore the interconnected biblical relationships which influenced Jesus’ relationship with God, with land and the people. These relationships resonate with the Maori understanding of whakawhanaungatanga/making right relationship happen with Atua/God, tangata/people and whenua/land.

An article from Tui Motu website under Scripture written by Kathleen Rushton while on her Scholarship at Vaughan Park: http://www.tuimotu.org/