On Saturday, March 14, 2020, Shelley Rae Gilchrist of Deland, Florida was ordained a priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests by Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan of Sarasota. The service took place at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, DeLand, FL 32720.
A mother and grandmother, educator and actress as well as hospice chaplain, Shelley says she felt an early call to priesthood from her saintly French Canadian grandmother. More recently she discerned it from prayer and her participation in the liturgies and community at the Heart of God Ministry of ARCWP priests Miriam Picconi and Wanda Russell in Titusville. “Maybe it was the voice of my grandmother, but so much of my spiritual journey began to make sense,” she said. She has been preparing academically for her priesthood through the People’s Catholic Seminary.