Ordination Womanpreist

Ordained Woman Deacon 2018

Amy Louise Bruner

Master of Arts – Theology, in progress

 Master of Science – Education  

 Bachelor of Science – Biology  


Baptized into Christ in the Catholic Church, after I was born on December 17, 1956 to Dave and Monita Voellinger, the first of their four children, I was raised with my brothers Dan and Joe and sister Connie in Rockford IL., near the Wisconsin /Illinois border. I attended Holy Family Elementary School and Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford, Ill.

These were very formative years as my parents were devout Catholics, very involved in parish life, and were wonderful role models when it came to volunteering in our Church. My faith has always been very important to me from my early nurturing by my parents and by the nuns who taught me up to my adult life. I go to Mass and pray not because I have to but because I want to. My prayer life has evolved from a conventional formal prayer to conversational prayer, meditative prayer and prayer through service, by being Christ to others.

I attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point earning a B.S. in Biology, a minor in Environmental Education and a minor in Museum Techniques. My professional career goal was to work as a Naturalist teaching outdoors rather than in a classroom. I attended graduate school at the University of Iowa where I received a Master in Science Education. And now, 28 years later, I am a student once again, pursuing a Masters of Theology through Global Ministry University, preparing to become a priest!!

All of my adult life, I have been active in Parish Ministry. My husband and I have been involved in the Sponsor Couple Program that helps to prepare engaged couples for marriage, at 2 different parishes. As an ecumenical couple ourselves, Catholic and Methodist, we worked with many ecumenical couples discussing the many ways we have raised a family and have supported each other in our faith journey.

After being a member on the Faith Formation Commission at All Saints Parish in Lakeville MN for three years, I was voted to chair the Commission. This Commission was the umbrella organization that oversaw the Adult Faith Formation, RCIA, the Elementary School, and the Religious Education Program for public school students.

However, it was my work as a facilitator of women’s retreats through the Emmaus Program, ministering to women, that was particularly instrumental for my response to answering the Spirit’s call. In 2001, I moved to a new parish, Risen Savior in Burnsville

MN, where I got involved with the Emmaus Women’s Group. I learned the gift of conversational prayer, reflecting on the Word, listening to the life stories of these women of Emmaus and how God worked in their lives.

I attended their yearly women’s retreat that was organized and presented by previous retreatants. It was wonderful to be ministered to by other women!! After attending a retreat, a woman is welcome to join the retreat team the following year. Needless to say, women serving women was a calling that I enthusiastically responded to. For the next five years I was a speaker and a group discussion leader and then moved on to be a co-facilitator of the retreat for two years after that. It was an awesome experience, one that I believe was instrumental in my journey toward priesthood.

Still living in Minnesota at the time, I read an article, “Female priests push Catholic boundaries,” in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Dec. 10, 2011. The article featured Monique Venne and the Compassion of Christ Church. It was unbelievable! It was fantastic!! I had to find out more! I had to go to a Mass presided by a Woman Priest! And what a wonderful and uplifting experience it was!! The courage and faith these women priests must have. However, my wonderful and revolutionary experience was short-lived as we moved to Iowa two months later.

Then, I was called by the Holy Spirit to begin my journey toward priesthood. In Des Moines Iowa, the summer of 2015, while sitting quietly and reading a mystery novel, a voice interrupted my reading. The voice did not utter words of comfort, nor was it a request. It was a command. “BECOME A PRIEST!” The words, literally, took my breath away. The command came only once. I knew that God had called ME!!!!

In awe and humbleness, I didn’t hesitate but accepted the path set before me. After starting my inquiry with RCWP, I applied and was accepted as a Candidate in 2016 and I began the journey to which I have been called, Priesthood!

I was both excited and nervous when I was accepted into the preparation program. With no previous theological training, beginning a new profession at age 60 seemed a daunting task. Knowing that I had been personally called by God to walk this path I set aside my fears, put my trust in the Spirit, and began this amazing journey.

I was ordained a Roman Catholic Womandeacon in the summer of 2018 at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton WI. My ordination to priesthood is planned to take place in the spring of 2021in Des Moines, Iowa.

Currently, my ministry involves working as a Shelter Advocate at a homeless shelter in Des Moines Iowa where I assist the chronic homeless in establishing a source of income and permanent housing. Currently, there is no RCWP led community in Des Moines, but I would like to begin one and would like to extend my ministry to include those individuals who have been marginalized by the Catholic Church such as the LGBTQA+ community, divorced Catholics and survivors of abuse.

Married since 1981, my husband Roger and I have 3 children, Emily, Kristin and Nathan and one angel, Donald, who all support me as I journey toward priesthood. As a Reiki Master, I minister by bringing God’s healing touch to those suffering emotionally and/or physically.

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