Janinie Denomme who was ordained a Catholic priest in April last year has died of cancer. The Archdiocese of Chicago is refusing to allow her to be buried at her Catholic parish.

The Churches policy is to excommunicate women who pursue ordination.

Denomme was a committed Catholic and served as a lay preacher, church musician, parish council member, spiritual director and religion teacher. In 2007 she learned of a group called the Roman Catholic Women Priests. Despite the Catholic Churches strict ban the group ordained 100 women.

While preparing for her ordination Denomme was diagnosed with cancer. She died in her home in Edgewater, Chicago, on May 17. 

The Catholic Church has never recognized Denomme’s ordination. The Archdiocese of Chicago says that she separated herself from the Church in “the simulation of the sacrament of Holy Orders.”

They said that Denomme would only be permitted to have a Church burial is she showed “some sign of repentance before death.”

Born in Detroit, Denomme had always been involved in the Church. Mary Joan, her mother said, “She always wanted to be a priest," said her mother, Mary Joan. Her mother said that Denomme would often force her brothers let her play at saying Mass.

Though her decision to confront the Church by being ordained took courage her friends and family insist that she was a very gentle soul. Her partner Hon. Judge Nancy Katz said “She was a wonderful partner.”

Her funeral will now take place on May 22 at the First United Methodist Church.

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