Our faith Community was birthed by Father Ned Reidy, a Holy Cross Priest who was born and raised in Chicago, IL. Fr. Ned's radical love and inclusivity stretched beyond the bounds of the local diocese, so together with about 100 faithful, we chose to build our own Catholic faith community within the Diocese, but not under the Diocese. In 2003 we purchased a building here in Bermuda Dunes, CA and created an inclusive Catholic community where all are welcome at Christ's table. We named the community Pathfinder Community of the Risen Christ after the Pathfinder Retreat ministry Fr. Ned founded.
Fr. Ned believed in gender equality, he believed in the rights of all people, no matter who they chose to love or with whom they partnered. He believed that women are also called to the Priesthood and are equal partners in sharing the Gospel and Sacraments of the Holy Catholic Church.
Initially we were in communion with the Ecumenical Catholic Communion (ECC) which at that time had their headquarters in Orange, CA under Bishop Peter Hickman. Bishop Peter ordained our first woman priest, Rev. Kathy McCarthy. In 2012, Bishop Peter ordained Rev. Joni Miller to the Transitional Diaconate. In December 2012, Rev. Kathy desired to start her own parish in Palm Desert, CA and left our community, but we remain forever bonded in Christ.
In 2013, our community separated from the ECC and partnered with Bishop Dermot Rodgers. Bishop Dermot, a Roman Catholic and native of Ireland, shares our vision of a non patriarchal, non hierarchical communion of Roman Catholic communities that stretches from Canada to Mexico. Bishop Dermot's parish is Saint Peter of Rome in San Diego.
In 2013, Rev. Joni Miller was ordained to the Holy Roman Catholic Priesthood and co-pastored with Fr. Ned Reidy until his retirement. Rev. Joni now pastors the community full time.
In the summer of 2017 the community made the decision to change our name to Saint Clare of Assisi, which better reflects our Franciscan spirituality and mission statement.
Song: Beyond the Moon and Stars by Dan Shutte
Madre Joni, Pastor,
Franciscan of Mercy
Most Reverend Dermot Rodgers, Franciscan of Mercy