cat-bio-photoHi, I’m Catherine!

I’m an Episcopal priest who loves reading, writing, and riding my bike. My wife Heather and I spent several years living in the Pacific Northwest and then in New England before taking a leap of faith and moving back to our hometown of Chicago in 2019. I am a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, and I am blown away by the privilege and honor of serving His church — especially my particular church, which is the kind of parish I’ve spent my whole life trying to find.

But why a clergy fashion blog?

I am actually not much of a clotheshorse. In seminary, I had a self-imposed uniform: I wore a long-sleeved T-shirt, a scarf, jeans, and riding boots. Every. single. day.

Then I graduated and got my first call to a church.

In my first year of ordained ministry, I started to get used to my new uniform. I also started to get self-conscious. How seriously was anyone going to take me in my baggy black shirts? Why were parishioners always commenting on my shoes? And that time when I wore corduroys to work and the church treasurer told me I “looked like a cowboy” … Was that a compliment? Or not?

Many Christian traditions have ordained women for decades, and yet the patriarchy remains alive and well in the church (just as it does everywhere else). Sometimes it feels like each new woman in ministry is breaking brand-new ground.

Groundbreaking is incredible work. It can also be hard and lonely work. If you are a clergy woman or femme, my hope is that Rock That Collar will be a friendly companion, inspiring you as you work to build up the kingdom of God — offering outfit ideas, reading lists, professional development tips, advice for handling the more gendered challenges of parish life, and a little levity to make you smile on the way.

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