The Reverend Rhoda Treherne-Thomas
I was born in Wales in 1927, my father British, my mother American, so I’ve always been at home in both countries. During the war, my mother brought my brother and me to live with her father in New York. I was in South Carolina for high school and Massachusetts for college (and in Nevada and Wisconsin for a few months each).
I wanted to be a parish priest but women could not do so at that time so I hoped to at least become a missionary teacher. Family objections (I was still under 21 so needed their permission!) led to a four-year delay – mostly as a grad student (Columbia and Ann Arbor, Michigan) but also doing public speaking/fundraising and teaching riding.
From 1952 to 1960, I was at last a missionary overseas, usually teaching in the Anglican girls’ school in Amman. Then from 1960 to 1967, I was in the Community of St. Mary, usually teaching (in Peekskill, New York, and briefly in Sewanee, Tennessee). After that I came back to Manhattan and taught at Hunter High School and Spence School. In 1977, the Church had just opened the priesthood doors to women in the US so I entered the Seminary at last (Union, General, Fordham, and the rabbinic school at Jewish Theological). Since ordination in 1980, I’ve worked mainly in the Bronx, Westchester and Staten Island, in parishes, hospitals and nursing homes. I am currently working for St. Paul’s (Stapleton), Staten Island University Hospital, and Carmel Richmond Nursing Home, as well as St. John’s and my parish in England. Keeps me busy!