Appointed Foundation Dean - School of Philosophy and Theology, Broadway

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 6-2-2006

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



Rev Professor Dennis Rochford, a priest of the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, has been appointed Foundation Dean of the School of Philosophy and Theology at the Broadway Campus of the University of Notre Dame Australia.

A graduate of the Australian National University and the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, where he earned both the PhD and STD degrees, with a study of the theological attempts to bridge Christian faith with contemporary culture, Fr Dennis brings more than 25 years academic and scholarly experience to this position.

During his career he has held positions including Dean of Studies and Director of Programs at Saint Paul's National Seminary, Sydney (1985-1987); Head of the School of Theology at Australian Catholic University (1996-2003) and Dean of the College of Theology and holder of the Mary Prindiville Chair of Theology at Notre Dame's Fremantle Campus (2004-2005).

Fr. Rochford believes that Notre Dame has something unique to offer in Sydney. Within the community of Catholic universities, Notre Dame will emphasise the importance of an excellent education that is shaped by the necessary exposure to Catholic faith and values.

'This can be achieved, in part, through the study of a Core curriculum in all courses, consisting of philosophy, theology and ethics.

'In addition, the University offers a community of faith where daily celebration of the liturgy and the sacraments is important.

Notre Dame is at a strategic moment in its history with the development of Australia's first Catholic Medical School in Fremantle and the beginnings of a presence in Sydney.

Professor Rochford believes that the University confronts 'a culture in Australia, also Europe and the United States, that is no longer dominated by a single Christian vision. This pluralism, important as it is for freedom and political liberalism, comes with a corresponding loss of identity and lasting security.

This partly explains why many young people grow up without any particular orientation or identity; after all, where will that identity come from if the one thing visible to them in the culture is precisely that it does not know how to understand itself? he says.

Father Dennis is convinced that this means that Notre Dame is committed to an education not of the head only but of the heart. Our search for truth at the University is, at the same time, at the service of personal maturity and growth.

'A Notre Dame education is completely committed to the human well-being of students and their commitment to justice and love towards others.'