On Saturday, Jan. 19, the North American Old Catholic Church ordained Shannon T. L. Kearns to priesthood. Kearns became the first transgender priest for the independent Catholic group, which ordains women, members of the LGBTQ community, and married/partnered/divorce people.
“I am honored and humbled,” Kearns said in a statement. The new priest has been tasked with starting a new parish in Minneapolis, House of the Transfiguration, which will be open to all people. The parish “will combine traditional Catholic worship with modern expressions.”
While earning his master in divinity from Union Theological Seminary, Kearns transitioned from female to male. In the U.S., there are estimated to be fewer than 100 transgender clergy members. And Kearns is among just a handful in the state of Minnesota.
Check out more images of Kearns’ ordination below.