The Rev. Dr. Catherine Laufer

July - September 2017 | The Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

I grew up in Sydney, the daughter of Hungarian Holocaust survivors. I was baptised as an infant as 'protection' against future genocide and came to own Christian faith at an Anglican school.

I studied psychology at university and worked with intellectually disabled and highly gifted children. I spent fourteen months living and working in Jerusalem before marrying my American husband in 1981. We lived in California for a year before moving to Melbourne where we planned to start a family. Sadly, this was not to be; we were unable to have children. I became a lecturer in psychology at Australian Catholic University where I worked for 15 years.

My husband was killed in a road accident in October, 1990. I had begun studying theology earlier that year and found class to be a place of refuge and strength in the midst of deep grief. My vocation to ordained ministry grew out of this experience.

At Vaughan Park, I will be working on a book of narrative theology, that is, stories which explore theological truths. Narrative theology is far more than story telling; it not only illustrates dogma but also teaches theological concepts. This is what Jesus did in his parables, using a story to communicate deep truths.

Narrative theology is an alternative means of proclaiming the gospel in a medium that is accessible to all – clergy looking for sermon illustrations, Christians who do not read theological tomes and the unchurched seeking to know something of faith. My long term goal is a collection of about twenty stories, each illustrating Christian doctrine. I hope that, in my three months at Vaughan Park, I will be able to complete half to two thirds of the collection.

The Rev. Dr. Catherine Laufer and Bishop Bosco Puthur, Eparch of the Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle, Melbourne which covers all Australia and New Zealand. 
“Bp Bosco invited me to their liturgy.  It was stunning! – chanted in Malayalam.”

11th September 2017
The Syro Malabar Catholic Mission, NZ

Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat Centre Chapel – Ruatara