Bishop Patricia Fresen ordains Pastor Toni to the priesthood through the laying on of hands.


Our Pastor

Reverend Toni Tortorilla

My name is Toni, and I am the Pastor of Sophia Christi Catholic Community. I was ordained a deacon through the Roman Catholic Womenpriest movement in Santa Barbara, California, and subsequently ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in Portland, Oregon on July 28, 2007, by Bishop Patricia Fresen.

My background includes many years of service within the Catholic Church. I graduated with a B.A. in Theology from St. Mary College in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1968. After graduation I served two Catholic parishes during the bumpy transition following the close of Vatican II. As Director of Religious Education I was responsible for adult faith formation, as well as preparation of catechists and curriculum for children and teens in these parishes. For three years I also taught Religion in Catholic high schools. I have served on Liturgy Committees and Pastoral Committees, developed outreach programs for alienated and disenfranchised Catholics and organized outreach ministries to GLBTQ individuals, their families and friends. All of these activities were attempts to follow the insistent call to priesthood anchored in my soul at age 5 in the only way open to me as a woman within the Catholic Church.

In 1979, still following that same call, I graduated with a Master’s degree in Counseling from San Diego State University. Unable to serve at Christ’s Table as a Catholic woman, I decided to become a professional listener and reconciler of hearts in the secular confessional. I have been in Private Practice as a counselor working with individuals and couples for over 30 years now.

In 1998 I had the opportunity to return to my first love, the study of Theology, at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. In 2001 I received a Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology. While there I was trained as a Spiritual Director and have been doing Spiritual Direction in addition to Counseling for the last 13 years.

Following my ordination in July of 2007 I began celebrating Eucharist on a monthly basis in Portland and in Eugene. These monthly Liturgies created the foundation for Sophia Christi Catholic Community with locations in Portland and Eugene, Oregon and in Battle Ground, Washington. We begin our seventh year as a community in August, 2013.