I am 66 years of age and have been a clergyman and religious brother for the past 13 years. I entered the Ecumenical Franciscan Order on July 3rd 2003, made my simple Profession the following year on the evening of 3rd July and was Ordained Deacon in the Ecumenical Catholic church of Australia the following day.
My birthplace was Sedgley in the U.K where I lived until I was a girl of 12 and 11 months before migrating to Australia with my family. After a marriage spanning 1972 – 1999 I divorced being part way through sexual reassignment surgery which was completed in 2001. My husband and I had two sons, now grown, one with four children of his own.
In May 31st 2003 my wife Jessica and I were married at the Pro- Cathedral of Sts. John the beloved and Mary Magdalene at Francis Street East Sydney NSW Australia.
I have always lived with a close connection to the various churches to which I have belonged, serving as Chorister, Lector, catechist yet it was at the age of 9, well before any of this began that I first realised my difference.
When I was 14 I became a born again Christian in the Baptist Union Church in Lawrence in the far north of NSW and right away I began to be presented with overwhelming realities of me that needed accepting and reconciling. I questioned God as to why, when I had just given my life to him had this released itself from the depths of me to torment me until I was 46 years old.
Things are different now. The Ecumenical Catholic Church of Australia is a refuge for those living on the margins, the rejected, the abandoned, the falsely treated and for all whose lives have taken them beyond the canons of the Catholic church.
Likewise the Christian Community of the Holy Redeemer is an exciting, non-denominational space for people to reconnect with the Jesus who walked beside us and to learn from him.
End note – the Ecumenical Franciscan Order parted company with the ECCA to found the Blue Mountains Franciscan Church Inc. another exciting, non-denominational space for people to reconnect with the Jesus who walked beside us and to learn from him.
We began functioning as a Community on 4th October 2015 and I was Ordained Priest that morning.