Annie Girresch (she/her)
My spiritual roots are in the Catholic tradition. As a teenager, I found Life in liturgical ministry, leading song and liturgy for my communities of parish and school. I was fascinated by the dance between hymns, scripture, liturgy, and the pastoral needs of people ~ and this fascination carries into my present-day love for ritual.
As a young adult, I found myself in religious spaces that became spiritually and psychologically harmful to me. As a queer person and a survivor of sexual assault, my faith led me outside the walls of the church, into nature and my relationship with my body. With the aid of Spirit and community, I found healing. After years of a mysterious, winding, and often painful journey, I felt called back to Christianity, inspired by the challenge of Thich Nhat Hanh to “find the jewels in my own tradition.” I am grateful to the various Protestant communities who accompanied me on this journey and gave me space to step more fully into ministerial leadership.
Today I practice independent Catholicism, weaving my Earth-honoring practices with ancestral healing, devotion to Mary and the Communion of Saints, and embodied practices like ritual, chanting, drumming, and dancing. Although my ministry flows out of this Catholic lineage, I often serve people of Protestant traditions, non-Christian traditions, or no faith tradition. I offer my ministry skills in various forms of service, including as a spiritual director, program/workshop facilitator, ritual facilitator, preacher, and end of life doula. In 2021, I received my Masters in Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary, my End of Life Doula training with Lifespan Doulas and a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. I will graduate with a certificate in Spiritual Direction from Still Harbor in May 2022.
Some lineages and communities that have formed and informed me include: Carolyn Griffeth and the Earth Keeper Wisdom School; Langston Kahn, Christina Pratt and The Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing; the Ancestral Medicine community; St. John’s Church “The Beloved Community”; Dada Maheshvarananda and the yogan community of Ananda Marga; the catholic worker tradition, among other Catholic movements for peace and social justice; labor organizing with Unite H.E.R.E.; the Franciscan tradition; feminist and womanist thealogies.
- Spiritual Director/Companion
- End of Life Doula