“Faith and trust in God” help achieve master’s degree

Thomas Cullen with his masters degree and St Mary MacKillop plaque (ACU)

“Faith and trust in God” were key elements as Thomas Cullen achieved a master's degree from Australian Catholic University in Brisbane while battling multiple sclerosis. Source: The Catholic Leader.

Mr Cullen, 58, was presented with the award of Master of Theological Studies (Liturgy) at a Thanksgiving Mass at ACU Banyo’s Holy Spirit Chapel on September 15.

More than 100 people, including family and friends from Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand, and fellow students, attended in support of Mr Cullen’s achievements.

In 2012, Mr Cullen was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease that attacks the nervous system, disrupting the communication between the body and brain.

At the time of his diagnosis, Mr Cullen was studying ACU’s Graduate Diploma in Theological Studies.

He said his academic milestone was due in part to receiving the ACU Centre for Liturgy’s Postgraduate Scholarship in 2020.

Mr Cullen said the centre’s director, Professor Clare Johnson, inspired him to pursue a masters degree despite his MS diagnosis.

“She got me through my post-graduate diploma studies in liturgy and inspired me to go on,” he said.

ACU Chancellor Martin Daubney, awarded Mr Cullen his masters degree during the ceremony, saying he reached the milestone achievement “through his faith and trust in God”.

The university also gave him a plaque of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, the patron saint of ACU.

Mr Cullen is only the third person in Australia to be awarded a Master of Theological Studies (Liturgy). His research essay focused on whether cathedral choirs today fostered the active participation of the gathered assembly as per the instructions of the Second Vatican Council.


Faith the music of masters (By ACU and Selina Venier, The Catholic Leader

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