Our Staff

Theresa Mischewski


I was brought up in a large Catholic, prolife family and moved to Christchurch in 2020 to study Management and Marketing at the University of Canterbury. In Christchurch I joined the exec of the Pro-life UC club, and helped out as a facilitator for the Loving for Life sexuality and relationships program in schools, attending several Theology of the Body courses and being the president of the CathSoc Club. In addition, I am currently working towards completing my training to become a teacher of the Billings ovulation method for natural family planning.  Now in my role as director of the John Paul II Centre for Life I can promote life, marriage and family – a job I am very passionate about.

Lara Paterson

Support Worker

My journey began when I took on the role of Pregnancy Support Worker for the John Paul II Centre for Life. I have been honoured to walk alongside women and their families in times of grief when they have lost a child before birth. I have also supported women when they have faced an unexpected pregnancy, through full information and support. This includes parent care coordination and case management for couples who have been given a prenatal diagnosis, grief support after a loss and abortion healing.  Accompanying families through this challenging time to find peace and healing is a true honour, knowing that faith, prayer and the sacraments are all important tools to assist us on the way.

Megan Emery

Support Worker

My name is Megan and I feel greatly blessed to be joining the team as a Pastoral Support Worker for the John Paul 11 Centre for Life. More recently, I have been on the Board for the John Paul 11 Centre for Life Trust, so i have been aware of this special mission within the Church and the great work that is undertaken by the members of the trust.

I have a large family of children and grandchildren, extended family and friends, all holding a special place in my heart.
Am also privileged to be part of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites here in Christchurch, which provides a strong foundation of prayer and friendship. Our Carmel Sisters support us in prayer. St Teresa’s is my parish church, which also nurtures my spiritual life and where friendships have been built.
My most recent role was as Catholic Chaplain at Burwood Hospital, which was a wonderful ministry and I hope to bring this experience to my new position here at JP2.

Susan O'Loughlin

Finance Administrator

I am honoured to be able to use my talent as a qualified accountant to support the day to day financial administration of the trust in its important mission. Working for the Trust feels like a natural step following on from supporting pro-life activities over the years.

Being born and raised Catholic in Canterbury, I returned home back in 2013 after some period of time overseas, to help care for my mother. So, duties and responsibilities will see me working mostly from home.

Staff Image - Susan
Staff Image - Debra

Debra McTague

Fundraising Coordinator

I am excited to be taking on this new role at the John Paul II Centre for Life. The pro-life movement is one very close to my heart. I am married to Jason and we are the parents of 5 wonderful children. Before having children I studied gaining my BA, majoring in psychology, worked in various roles including youth work and traveled overseas. I hope to bring my skills to this role to help the John Paul II Centre for Life continue this incredible and truly life-saving work, supporting life, marriage and family.

Our Board

Vincent Chia, Marrion Smith, Matt O' Connell (Chairman), Allan Holden, Sonya Fitzgerald (Secretary)
Absent: Vincent Chia, Fr Chris Orr, Marianne Daly