Elizabeth Berne DeGear is a chaplain, writer, Bible scholar and Catholic feminist.
Certified with the NACC since 2002, Lizzie’s passion for group experience was sparked by her chaplaincy work on inpatient psychiatric units and with those facing addiction. For fifteen years, as chaplain for the Center for Urban Community Services, she created and led memorial services for people who knew homelessness during their lives.
With a PhD in psychoanalytic theory and the Hebrew Bible from Union Theological Seminary, Lizzie is fascinated by the way our lives are shaped by spirit and psyche. Her pastoral work with individuals and communities helps people discover the freedom within their own faith and then helps them develop the means to enjoy that freedom. Co-creating liturgical celebrations and healing circles in honor of Mary Magdalene’s Feast Day has been a highlight of this work.
Through Bible studies at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in New York City, Lizzie has been sharing her passion for the Bible since 2002. Her first Bible study, based on her master’s thesis at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, focused on the gospel passages excluded from the Sunday Lectionary. A recent Bible study, Women’s Power in the Bible, unearths the various sources of power available through the ancient biblical text that do not depend on patriarchy.
As a Catholic feminist, Lizzie believes that the beauty at the heart of the Church – Christ’s living message of love and transformation – needs no longer be bound by misogyny. Shewas delighted to launch Feminism & Faith in Union with FutureChurch and other international partners in January 2018. Called to Catholic priesthood, she longs to be fully welcomed to the Eucharistic table by her worship community.
Lizzie is the author of For She Has Heard: The Standing Stone in Joshua 24 and the development of a covenant symbol, and her devotions are featured in Mornings with Jesus: Daily Encouragement for Your Soul (2019 & 2020). Currently working on a book about Jesus, she lives in Washington Heights NYC with her partner and children.