Our Foundress!

Our Mary Ann Schoettly RCWP, beloved friend and first co-pastor of our community, moved on to the next journey of life July 22, 2014.  Mary Ann McCarthy Schoettly was an ordained Roman Catholic Woman Priest April 26, 2009.  She held Masters Degrees in Theology, Administration and Supervision, and Science, as well as certificates in Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction.  Mary Ann was a life-long teacher – teaching biology at Newton high school, theology at colleges, religious education programs (CCD – Confraternity of Christian Doctrine religious education of children, Confirmation, RCIA – Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, Renew 2000), Stephen Ministry and retreat work, along with courses for other online educational programs. From September 2008 through June 2014, Mary Ann pastored Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community, in Sussex County, NJ. She also volunteered as a Spiritual Caregiver with the Chaplain’s Office at Newton Medical Center, led a Spirituality Group for Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services, and facilitated a small faith-sharing community, in addition to volunteering for Pathways to Prosperity in Newton. She was active in CTA (Call to Action), VOTF (Voice of the Faithful) and her local Catholic Communities.

Mary Ann will always be a mother to Mary Lynn, Patty and Dan and a loving mother-in-law to Laura and an exceptional grandmother to Kayla and Madelyn.

We miss her every single day. as we continue to move forward inspired by her determined spirit….with love and peace…..

For more information about our founder, Mary Ann Schoettly, see the article about her, An Unlikely Rebel, part of the Star Ledger’s I Am New Jersey series, published in a Sunday edition in August of 2008.


Mary Ann presiding at liturgy with Bishop Andrea in the background.

Mary Ann and others were in Rome for the Vatican’s Year of the Priest in 2010. There are many photos from that action including some of Mary Ann you are welcome to download and use: http://woc.smugmug.com/Other/Rome2010/12644638_kSvh2w#!2644791&k=gLwfpQH

Here is the statement from the press conference that day that quotes Mary Ann http://www.womensordination.org/2010/06/07/womens-ordination-advocates-hold-press-conference-during-vatican-year-for-priests-celebration/

The people in the photo below from left to right:  Katy Zatsick (ARCWP-USA), Therese Koturbash (womenpriests.org), Mary Ann Schoettly (RCWP-USA), Erin Saiz Hanna (WOC), Mary Leslie (Catholic Women’s Ordination, UK) Colette Joyce (New Wine, UK).