TERESA FERNANDEZ RITCHIE
Teresa Fernandez was born in India, grew up in Singapore, and came to New Zealand to do her post-graduate studies in 1987. She now lives in Hamilton with her husband and has three children. Her experiences growing up in Singapore that is multicultural and multi-religious gave her exposure to understand and accept people of other faiths and cultures. In fact, often in her growing up years, her group of friends would consist of many ethnicities and religions. She enjoyed this diversity and shared wholeheartedly in the different festivals, foods and norms. Most importantly she loved the diversity of the people and their common humanity. Bring different and being one seemed to be two sides of the same coin. Teresa was appointed by the then Bishop Denis Browne to be his representative on WIFCO in 2014. Later, she was appointed by Cardinal John Dew to be on New Zealand Catholic Bishops Committee for Interfaith Relations. Teresa gladly accepted these responsibilities as they were in line with her beliefs and her interest in greater dialogue and understanding among faiths. Now, having been in the Interfaith arena for a number of years, she has grown in her respect and regard for interreligious dialogue, understanding, acceptance and love for people of any race or creed. She takes to heart the words of Bishop Browne in his appointment letter, “… help the citizens of Hamilton become more aware of the possibilities of strength that we can enjoy in exploring and supporting each other’s faith”.
Faith Community: Catholic