- Associated Press - Saturday, April 5, 2014

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - Marty Meyer-Gad wouldn’t take “no” for an answer when she thought of becoming a priest in the Catholic Church.

“It is an act of breaking an unjust law … but I’m not a rebel,” said Meyer-Gad, 66, of Santiago Township.

She was ordained a Roman Catholic Womenpriest in Chicago in 2010 - a move that puts her at risk for being excommunicated by the Catholic Church.

She recently published her memoir, “Seventy-Four Cents,” about her ordination, her ambivalence and the Catholic Church’s teachings that only men can be priests, the St. Cloud Times reported (http://on.sctimes.com/1hif8O6).

“My ministry is writing and that’s part of the reason why I wrote the book,” said Meyer-Gad, who volunteers at a hospital in Princeton after working at Wal-Mart.

Those varied roles define her: She was in a convent. She worked at Fingerhut in St. Cloud. She got married. She served as a chaplain for about a year, each, at the St. Cloud VA Health Care System and St. Cloud Hospital.

According to the website of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests, “We, women, are no longer asking for permission to be priests.” The website also says ordained women are ministering in more than 29 states.

“I’m not looking for people to form a congregation. I do not have a weekly, monthly - whatever - group of people to lead in worship even though that’s been my whole life,” Meyer-Gad said.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis’ stance is “women who claim to have been ordained Catholic priests in fact have no relationship to the Catholic Church because their ordination is not valid.”

“I’m against the ordination of women; I’m against the ordination of men,” Meyer-Gad said. “We have too many expectations on priests because we ordain them to this kind of professional ‘be-all, end-all’ kind of thing.”

Mary Magdalene, First Apostle, is a parish with Roman Catholic Womenpriests that holds services at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Cooper Avenue South in St. Cloud.

“I don’t introduce myself as a priest,” said Meyer-Gad, whose husband, Bruno Gad, encouraged her to pursue the priesthood. “I introduce myself as ‘Marty.’ “

She entered the convent at 14 years old, working in worship training at the two largest Midwest dioceses, Detroit and Chicago, according to her biography.

“Growing up, I was influenced by the ceremony in the church,” she said of entering the convent. “You know how girls played house? Well, I played church.”

Her ideal is returning to the early church, which had no priests, but she said she sought ordination because she was angry with the Catholic bishops.

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