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Midwest Region RCWP Members

Corene Besetzny Alice Iaquinta Mary Kay Kusner Maria McClain Nancy Meyer
Regina Nicolosi Kathy Redig Irene Senn Martha Sherman Mary Frances Smith
Bernadyne Sykora Monique Venne Linda Wilcox    

Corene Besetzny Corene Besetzny "My journey toward priesthood has been life-long. After working in the Peace Corps in Liberia, West Africa, I completed graduate programs in teaching and anthropology. While raising my family of three adopted children, two from Korea and one from Honduras, I was active in parish ministry for many years in the areas of marriage preparation, family life, RCIA and social justice. During this time I was an active Lay Franciscan. More recently I received a Masters of Arts in Women’s Studies: Religion, Theology, and Ministry from United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, MN. I completed a Spiritual Direction Preparation Program at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, WI. All these experiences have paved the way toward priesthood. Currently, I preside at worship at the Fairview Seminary Home in Red Wing, MN. I also assist at the House Masses in my community. I have been widowed for two years and now work at the Red Wing Health Center where I minister to the elderly. On April 15, 2012 I was ordained a Roman Catholic woman deacon in Indianapolis, IN."
Corene Besetzny
Ordained
womandeacon 2012
womanpriest 2013

Alice Iaquinta Alice Marie Iaquinta, M.Div., ABD for Ph.D., M.A., B.A., A.A. "My ordination is an act of surrender to the Spirit and obedience to God, not an act of defiance of the church. I love the Roman Catholic Church and want to see the reforms of the Vatican II Council fulfilled. This is the 'new springtime' that Pope John XXIII and the Council recognized and we are the 'signs of the times.'" She has taught college for 40 years. Alice became aware of her call to the priesthood after graduating with honors from St. Francis Seminary, Milwaukee, WI. Ministry includes teaching ethics, offering spiritual direction, marriage preparation and weddings, adult faith formation in workshops and study groups. Alice and a married priest are pastors of the inclusive Vatican II Eucharistic Catholic community, Mary of Magdala, Apostle to the Apostles Catholic Churchin Milwaukee, WI.
Alice Marie Iaquinta
Ordained
womandeacon 2007
womanpriest 2007
Mary Kay Kusner
Mary Kay Kusner
Ordained
womandeacon 2009
womanpriest 2010
Mary Kay Kusner, MA, CC has been a chaplain for over 20 years.  During this time, she witnessed the openness of people to her as a woman minister. When she graduated from Boston College with her Master’s in Pastoral Ministry in 1987, many of her peers were leaving the Catholic church to become ordained. At that time, Mary Kay said, “I want my presence to speak louder than my absence.” 
She has remained a faithful Catholic and, after hearing Patricia Fresen speak at the Call to Action National Conference in 2006, believes it is time for women to claim their rightful role as ordained ministers. In August 2009 she was ordained a deacon in Minneapolis, MN. Currently, she serves as the chaplain for the Palliative Care Program at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. She is skilled in providing support to those in crisis and at the end of life. It has been her great joy to officiate at weddings, baptisms, and in a small faith community called Full Circle. Mary Kay has four children and has been married for 26 years. Her first book, Upside-down and Backwards: A Mother’s Story was published in late 2009 and is available from Amazon.com.
 

Marie McClain
Maria McClain
Ordained
womandeacon 2011
womanpriest 2012

Maria McClain is the leader of St. Mary of Magdala Catholic Community in Indianapolis. She didn't seek ordination but her passion for justice, especially for people on the margins, led her to RCWP. She has an M.A. in Religious Studies and a Certificate in Pastoral Studies. She grew up mainly in Buffalo, NY, joined the Sisters of Mercy there and taught in Catholic schools. After leaving the convent, she moved to Indianapolis in 1977 to take a position as parish DRE. She met her husband, Ed, was Coordinator of Boards of Education, wrote and edited publications for the NCEA; later she served as consultant to religious and nonprofit organizations until she retired. She helped found a recovery home for women with drug addictions and served on its board for 11 years. She is a Toastmaster, loves to explore new places and ideas and is involved in ecumenical efforts as part of her ministry.

Nancy Meyer
Nancy Meyer
Ordained
womandeacon 2009
womanpriest 2010

Nancy Meyer is a spiritual director and holds a Masters in Spirituality from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and a BS in Biology from Marian (College) University. She has a certificate from Washington Theological Union in Theological Studies and a certificate in Pastoral Family Life from the College of Mt. St. Joseph. She was ordained a deacon in August, 2009, and a priest in May, 2010. Nancy was a pastoral associate in a Roman Catholic parish community for 25 years working with RCIA, marriage preparation, women’s spirituality, outreach and with refugees especially those from Sudan. As a Sister of St. Francis she taught in the secondary schools and was vocation director, postulant director and associate vocation director for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Nancy facilitates a home church community and is a member of the program coordinator team for the Midwest Region.

Regina Nicolosi
Regina Nicolosi
Ordained
womandeacon 2005
womanpriest 2006
womanbishop 2009

Regina Nicolosi, MA, was born in a small town on the Rhine River. She was a teacher in Germany. 1969 she came to the USA to marry the love of her life, Charles, a radiologist and deacon. Together they raised four children, one of them from Colombia and one from Korea. Regina participated fully in Charles' preparation to the diaconate. She earned her Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies. Regina has worked as a housing manager for seniors, as a chaplain in a correctional facility for boys, in a drug and alcohol recovery unit and in a nursing home. She is retired now. She helps prepare women for ordination and celebrates Eucharist with Dignity and other small faith-communities.
Kathy Redig Kathy Redig, M.A. in Pastoral Ministries is a certified chaplain. She has served in Winona, MN in this capacity since 1995. Through this ministry she became aware that many people feel disenfranchised from the Catholic church and other churches. She was called to ministry at a young age, entering the convent after high school. Eventually realizing that she needed a partner in life, she left, married, and with her husband, raised two children. She suddenly became aware that God was calling her to ordination to become part of the change that she hoped to see within the Catholic church. Kathy and her husband Robert have established an inclusive parish, All Are One Roman Catholic Church where all are welcome at the table.

Kathy Redig
Ordained
womandeacon 2007
womanpriest 2008
Irene Senn Irene Senn "My journey to ordination began many years ago but, of course, 'women cannot be priests,' so I allowed myself to veer away from the path, most likely because at that point there was no path. However it seems that my whole life has prepared me for ordination, even when there was not an apparent path. Following the prompting of the Spirit I earned an MDiv degree from St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee in 1992. That same Spirit, which always leads one into the unknown, guided me during the 20-plus years that I served in justice and peace ministry with a congregation of women religious. And, by its raising a recurring question over a period of several years, I finally was able to discern the voice of the Spirit who has been so very patient with me, allowing me to come to this awareness at the right time. The journey continues, still into the unknown, but I continue to trust the leadership of the Spirit." Irene and Bob are parents of four adult children and grandparents of eight wonderfully energetic young people
Irene Senn
Ordained
womandeacon 2012
womanpriest 2013

Martha Sherman Martha Sherman grew up in St. Charles, MO, across the street from her parish and school. The School Sisters of Notre Dame strongly influenced her during elementary and high school. After graduating from St. Louis University with BA in English and Theology, she entered the SSNDs. Though she left after just four years, she continued to teach in an SSND-run school for eight more years. For the past 17 years she and her partner, Marie, have owned and operated Camp America Campground in Salem, SD. They consider this a ministry of hospitality. She is currently pursuing her MTh through Global Ministries University and doing CPE with the hope of becoming a certified chaplain.
Martha Sherman
Ordained
womandeacon 2012
womanpriest 2013
Mary Frances Smith Mary Frances Smith I am a registered nurse who has worked in psychiatry for thirty-five years, in staff and in leadership positions. My husband of thirty-two years is my strongest advocate in all my endeavors. I have three adult sons, an adult stepdaughter, and one grandchild. I earned my Master of Arts Degree in Theology from The College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minnesota. On May 4, 2008, I was ordained a Roman Catholic woman deacon. It has been as a Roman Catholic laywoman that I have always experienced the Church, the powerful social institution that framed my spiritual life from my birth. My belief in the progress of women in the Roman Catholic Church is very deep and strong. It is my joy to stand with women and men who bring life and growth to the Church.
 
Mary Frances Smith
Ordained
womandeacon 2008
womanpriest 2009
Bernie Sykora Bernadyne Sykora has longed to be at the altar to celebrate the liturgy of the Eucharist throughout her life. In her early adult life she spent five years in the Maryknoll community. After leaving there, she taught in various school districts in the state of Minnesota for 25 years, and earned a Master's degree in education of children with special needs. She is currently taking classes from Global Ministries University in theology. She is on the leadership team of the Community of Mary Magdalene, First Apostlein St Cloud MN, which is pastored by RCWP Womanpriest Mary Smith. Working on the leadership team has afforded her with a view of the feminine Godde who gives her much comfort and joy. Bernadyne was married to Don for 49 years before his death, and together they raised four children; she has seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Bernadyne Sykora
Ordained
womandeacon 2012
womanpriest 2013
Monique Venne Monique Gamache Venne first experienced a call to priesthood in fourth grade, when she wanted to be an altar server even though it wasn't allowed at the time. Not interested in becoming a nun, she pursued studies in the natural sciences, receiving a B.S. in Physics and an M.S. in Meteorology and working as a professional meteorologist. She was also active in her parish as a volunteer in various liturgical ministries and served as co-director of a women's Bible study. After being laid off from her last meteorological job, she decided to pursue her avocation and received an M.Div. from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in 2004. She helped found Compassion of Christ Catholic Communityin the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, and is serving as co-pastor with RCWP member Linda Wilcox. Monique sees herself as a person marginalized by the Catholic Church who ministers to others pushed to the margins by the Church. Interested in crafts all her life, she has won ribbons at the Minnesota State Fair for hand embroidery, garment sewing, and beadwork. She has been married since 1981 to her husband David and owns (or is owned by!) their cat Boris.
Monique Venne
Ordained
womandeacon 2010 womanpriest 2011
Linda Wilcox Linda Wilcox I received my M.A. in Theology and Pastoral Ministry at the College of St. Catherine in 2005. I have been active in a variety of ministries through the years in my parish, including the Just Faith program. My husband and I belong to a small faith community. Most recently I have been involved in hospice, ministry to the homeless, and hospital chaplain ministry. I have been a Benedictine Oblate with St. Paul's Monastery in Maplewood, MN. for eight years. I became interested in women's ordination through exposure to the movement at the Call to Action gathering that I attend each year. I have a passion for cooking. As I discerned my call to the priesthood I felt a strong connection between planning and preparing a meal and the Benedictine value of hospitality. I now co-pastor Compassion of Christ Catholic Communityin Minneapolis, MN where I gather at the table with community and celebrate the breaking of bread at an inclusive table where "all are welcome". Linda and her husband Russ are parents of four grown children.
 

Linda Wilcox
Ordained
womandeacon 2008
womanpriest 2009

In Memory
Mary Styne
images/members/StyneMary.jpg

Mary Styne sometimes called herself “the real-estate lady” or “the candle-lady” but no title was more meaningful to her than that of priest—except mom, of course.

Always the voice of social justice, this single mom raised four children, served the church that she so dearly loved and still found time to get a Masters of Divinity. Mary’s sense of justice and equality colored her every step. She courageously spent her life answering God’s call in many humble yet profound ways. By the time she entered into formation for the priesthood she had already answered some very difficult calls from God including the heartbreaking loss of her son, Scott DiSalvo, and a bout with lung cancer.

In her own words she prayed on the occasion of her first Mass:

Creator God, bless me with discomfort at easy answers and superficial relationships, so that I will live deep within my heart. Redeemer God, bless me with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that I will work for justice, equality and peace. Abiding Spirit, bless me with the courage to believe that I can actually make a difference.

With outspoken candor, Mary challenged her sister priests to live a life of integrity, honesty and compassion, always remembering to forgive those who “knew not what they did.” Mary was ordained to the transitional deaconate on November 1, 2008 and to the priesthood on August 16, 2009. On May 12, 2010 at age 70 she went home to be with her Creator and is “prayin’ for us.”
© 2013 Roman Catholic Womenpriests-USA, Inc.