Ordained Priest 2015

Ordained Deacon 2014 

Josephine Petermeier

Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

BA in Theology

From an early age I felt called to be a priest and longed to say mass, even when I was growing up on a farm near Remsen, in Northwest Iowa, the oldest of five girls. But since I didn’t have a way to do that, I joined the Holy Spirit Sisters, OSS in Sioux City in 1970, where I worked as Facilities Manager for the Community’s Retreat Center and as a  Nurse Aid in the retirement home during my Novitiate. After Profession, I went to  Creighton, however, as significant, and uncomfortable for me, changes in the  community emerged over the years. I left in 1979. I earned my BA in Theology from  Creighton University, Omaha NE in 1980 and then was the Director of Religious  Education for three years at a Catholic parish in Algona, Iowa.  

Because the parish wages were insufficient for an independent, self-supporting  woman, I left to pursue a new career direction. When I left the parish, I knew I had  other, more mechanical, abilities, so I went to school to earn a diploma in electronics. I  hoped that ultimately I could get a job that would pay a lot more, a living wage, even at  the start! I moved to Minneapolis and studied electronics at Northwest Electronics  Institute and then worked as a Service Technician for two different companies for fifteen  years. Although I put ministry on the shelf, the desire to minister never completely left  me.  

I met and married my husband Jerry in 1986, and we now have two grown sons. When  I decided to marry, I thought marriage closed the door on a priestly ordination, but I knew I would support other women if it ever became possible for a woman. Jerry and I  had a restaurant called the Wienery when the boys were young. Jerry ran the restaurant  and I kept the books and did the taxes.  

For fifteen years I served youth as a Den leader, Cubmaster, Training Chair, Assistant  Scoutmaster, Eagle Advisor, and Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America. I have  always been active in my parish as a lector and Eucharistic Minister and with the Rites of  Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program. Additionally, I worked as a staff member  at St Louis Park Junior High School in School Nutrition.  

I learned about RCWP when my husband spotted an article on the internet about  two women priests who were in Minneapolis at Compassion of Christ Community and  who would be having a service the following Sunday. Wild horses could not have kept  me away!! When I found out that they were married with children, it was like bells  going off. I could still do this!!!! I applied in August of 2012 and was accepted in  December of 2012. While in the formation program, I earned a Graduate Certificate in  Pastoral Ministry from Global Ministries University and also completed one unit of  Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at the University of Minnesota Hospitals in the summer  2014. I was ordained a deacon on May 4, 2014 and a priest on May 17, 2015. Both  ordinations were held at the Compassion of Christ Community in Minneapolis, MN.  

After ordination I was invited by the two priests, Linda Wilcox and Monique Venne,  to join them as a co-pastor. I also began to hold mass at a nursing home, Park Health  and Rehab Center, twice a month for two years but had to stop because of a cancer  diagnosis and immune suppression fears. I also presided at Dignity masses three or  four times each year from 2015 through 2018.  

I have served the region on the Vision Keeper Circle from 2014-2015 and then as  Program Coordinator for Inquirers and Applicants from 2015 – 2018. Since 2018, I have  been serving as Finance Administrator for Midwest Region RCWP 2018 – present, and  as CFO for RCWP-USA from 2018 – present.  

Before Covid I volunteered with STEP (St Louis Park Emergency Program) doing  various tasks, mostly giving free rides to Seniors and Handicapped people to their  Doctor appointments and sometimes grocery stores. In my free time I like working on  my yard, fixing stuff, and playing Sudoku.

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