Forbidden Grace: Hildegard von Bingen and 

A Modern Woman's Call to the Catholic Priesthood

Rev. Shanon Sterringer, PhD

Forbidden Grace: Hildegard von Bingen and A Modern Woman's Call to the Catholic Priesthood


Rev. Shanon Sterringer, Ph.D


Forbidden Grace: Hildegard von Bingen and A Modern Woman's Call to the Catholic Priesthood is a behind the scenes glimpse over the last twenty-two years as Dr. Sterringer has journeyed towards ordination to the priesthood. It is a narrative of her successes, failures, challenges, and experiences regarding ecclesial leadership as she recognized and responded to her vocation/call. Today she is pastor of an independent Catholic community based in the charism of St. Hildegard of Bingen. This memoir narrates years of painful and uncomfortable stories, not from a place of anger or resentment, but from a place of gratitude and love.   



This forthcoming book is as much an apologia as it is a memoir. She uses the term apologia not as a statement of regret or acknowledgement of wrongdoing but in the classical Christian sense as a defense of a position of faith. It is an apologia on behalf of love (pro amore) supporting her decision to seek ordination as a priest within the Catholic tradition that has prohibited women’s ordination for centuries as a result of deeply rooted patriarchy. This is a story of hope, perseverance, and faith in a world where true Christian love abides. A world where women and men participate equally as ordained ministers serving in persona Christi. It is the story of a remarkable and unique journey of a Roman Catholic woman called to priesthood.

This book is scheduled to be published in Fall 2021. 

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