Obituary for Dr Therese D'Orsa

9th May 2023

Dr Therese D’Orsa

The Diocese of Sale honours the memory and contribution to Catholic Education of Dr Therese D’Orsa who died suddenly on 7 May 2023.

Therese was the Director of Catholic Education and Director of Religious Education in the Diocese of Sale from 1997 – 2007.

In her extensive career in Catholic education, Therese was a passionate advocate for student learning outcomes, and teacher and leader formation and professional development. Her work was grounded by her very strong faith in God and her desire to help schools and institutions of higher learning make real for their communities the presence of Christ and the building of the Kingdom of God.

In her tenure as Director of Catholic Education and Director of Religious Education, Therese provided inspirational and strategic leadership to Catholic education in the Diocese of Sale, advancing the mission of the Church by leading, collaborating and advocating between the Office, schools, parishes and diocese. Therese gave leadership to the enhancement and promotion of Catholic identity in the schools, and represented the Catholic Education Office on state and national bodies.

As Director, Therese developed and fostered a spirit of co-responsibility, stewardship, dialogue and governance between the Catholic Education Office and the schools and parishes of the Diocese. She ensured that the evangelising mission of the Church inspired and guided Catholic education. In order to achieve this, Therese oversaw the appointment, mentoring, professional development and appraisal of key staff in Diocesan schools, and provided a stable and continuous presence for the school communities.

Therese was a true teacher. She worked extensively with Principals, leaders of Religious Education and teachers to help them recognise the vocational element of their roles, assisting them in responding to the call to serve the mission of the Church through their work with young people in our schools. In all that she did, students were at the heart of her ministry. Every decision was oriented to meeting their diverse needs and helping them come to know the God who loved them.

In her most recent role, Therese was a respected Professor of Mission and Culture at BBI-TAITE, providing academic leadership and governance. Together with her husband Jim, their work was published widely in both missiology and education.

We give thanks to God for the witness of Therese, her leadership and her passion for learning.

We extend our deepest sympathy to her beloved husband, Jim.

May Therese be welcomed into Paradise and rest gently in the promise of God’s eternal glory.

Yours sincerely,

Bishop Greg Bennet Paul Velten

Bishop of Sale Director of Catholic Education Chief Executive Officer

Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited