Mary Ramerman is one of the founders of the Spiritus Christi in Rochester, New York. Ramerman, a Californian and convert to Catholicism from Methodism who wished to become a Catholic priest, was encouraged by Rev. James Callan, who was serving as Administrator of Corpus Christi parish in Rochester, New York, to migrate to his parish to join the staff.
After several years of controversy, in 1998 Diocese of Rochester Bishop Matthew Clark transferred Rev. Callan from Corpus Christi Church, in order to bring the parish back into line (under the orders of the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI). A group of Corpus Christi Church members then started a new community which seceded from the Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of Ramerman and others, and Callan shortly joined them in the "New Faith Community" as it was called until it took on the permanent name of "Spiritus Christi Church" in August, 1999. Both Ramerman and Callan were declared to have excommunicated themselves (excommunication latae sententiae) by the Bishop.
A few years later, the community invited Bishop Peter Hickman from the Old Catholic Church, and later of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, in California to ordain Mary Ramerman as a Catholic priest on November 17, 2001 at Rochester's Eastman Theatre, and later on February 22, 2003 he returned to ordain Denise Donato a Catholic priest at the historic Hochstein music hall. Spiritus Christi Church recently celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2008. Ramerman continues to serve the community to this day.
Bonavoglia, Angela (2005). "One Woman Who Refused to Wait: The Ordination of Mary Ramerman", pp. 239-56, Good Catholic Girls: How Women are Leading the Fight to Change the Church. New York City: Regan Books/HarperCollins.
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