Mary Keldermans recounts her Catholic upbring and volunteer work in two different parishes and the Springfield diocese. She withdrew from church after decades of involvement because it was not caring, inviting, or life-giving in the ways she was taught, but she couldn’t give up being Catholic. Then she felt God’s call to become a priest, which she reluctantly accepted. As a Roman Catholic woman priest, she found a revitalized sense of purpose and dedication.
Priesthood, she believes, is all about teaching and guiding, and priests should not be elevated above ordinary church members. She explains how she directs her worship away from the church’s institution and toward God. Despite the church’s man-made regulations, Mary has created a community where she can be herself and spread love to others.
Mary Keldermans is a wife, a mom, and, in her words, an extremely indulgent grandparent. The Great Waters Region of Roman Catholic Womenpriests elected her as Bishop in 2019 (ordained in Springfield in fall 2021).
In 2014, Mary was ordained a priest by Bishop Joan Houk of the Roman Catholic Womenpriest reform movement. She started a faith community, Holy Family Inclusive Catholic Community in Springfield, IL for folks who loved their Catholic Faith but not the man-made institution. They are a community where she and others like her pray to God in ways that are nourishing and life-giving. A community where no one feels marginalized for who they are.
Mary also supports Beloved Inclusive Catholic Community in Champaign-Urbana.
Resources We Mention
- About the Roman Catholic Womenpriest reform movement https://romancatholicwomenpriests.org/
- West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge
- The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr
We recommend Bookshop, an online bookstore committed to strengthening the fragile ecosystem and margins around bookselling and keeping local bookstores an integral part of our culture and communities.
As an affiliate, Soul Care receives a 10% commission on every sale and independent bookstores receive a matching 10%. Bookshop wants to give back to everyone who promotes books, authors, and independent bookstores!
DID YOU ENJOY THE EPISODE?
Please drop a comment below or leave a review on iTunes or Spotify.
We value knowing what you think and this helps other east-central Illinois folks find the podcast as well.
And if you have any comments or questions, shoot us an email!