John Thornhill was a Marist Father with an international reputation as a writer and lecturer in theology. He was a member of the International Theological Commission (1980-1985), appointed by Pope John Paul II. For several years he was a member of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC II).
After he retired he lectured to parish audiences throughout Australia and in neighbouring countries. From 2002 to 2009 he worked in collaboration with Patrick Lim, a Diocesan Priest in the Archdiocese of Perth to record and produce his lectures in videos.
He has written 21 Unpacking the Emmaus Series booklets to be used in conjunction with the viewing of the presentations. He has published a number of books and numerous articles. He has recently completed another 3 lectures "Introduction to Catholic Theology (Revelation, Faith & Theology). His last book was on Christopher Dawson's interpretation of history which FeedARead.com published on December 3, 2018 titled 'The Road All Peoples Travel.'
The Australian Catholic University awarded John Thornhill with its highest honour, Doctor of the University (Honoris Caus) at its Sydney ceremony for graduating Education Students on 8 May 2007. Johh gave an address at the ceremony. HERE IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE ADDRESS
The Australia Catholic Theological Association on 9th of July 2011 at its annual general meeting in Sydney awarded John as a "Fellow of the Australian Catholic Theological Association" in recognition of his achievements "in the foremost ranks of Australian theologians". The ACTA's citation for the award was received with unanimous acclamation. HERE IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE CITATION
Fr John's long and distinguished service as a world-ranking theologian began in the 1950s. He stopped writting in early 2018 and moved into nursing not long after. John turned 90 on the 13 May 2019 and died on 28 July 2019.