Meet Mother Terry Deokaran, All Saints’ West Plains, Missouri

On February 26, 2019 Mother Terry Deokaran was installed as rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, West Plains, Missouri.

The Rev. Terry Deokaran Five-minute read.   Resources

You may be asking, “Who is this Mother Terry (Teresa) Deokaran from the Diocese of Western Kansas, and how did she get to be rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in West Plains, Missouri?” Let me see if I can give you a peek into me.

The people of All Saint’s Episcopal Church, West Plains, Missouri. The installation of the Rev. Teresa Deokaran as rector on February 26, 2019. Image credit: Donna Field
Mother Terry Deokaran. Image: Facebook.com

I am a unique woman of 60 years in love with life and God. I am a woman transformed, as are many of you, through loss and love. I am single, divorced 12 years, and I have two children: Sean, 33, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Melissa, 30, in New Orleans, La. I have no grandchildren as yet. My likes include: good food, good wine, chocolate, a good book, conversation, antique shops, coffee shops, outdoor markets, pottery, plants, rocks, old buildings/barns, old churches, lovely liturgy, and God’s beautiful outdoors!

I grew up in the middle of the cornfields in the small town of Mt. Carmel, Illinois. I was baptized at age 16. I attended college in Louisiana and graduated in 1980, the same year that I was married. My married life took me to Guyana, South America (my ex-husband’s home country) and to Hammond, Louisiana.

Mother Terry Deokaran, at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, West Plains, Missouri. Image: Facebook.com

My faith journey has taken me from the Disciples of Christ Church to the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church and to the Roman Catholic Church. For 15 years following my Confirmation into Catholicism in 1998, Christ touched my soul profoundly. I was impacted by the preaching and love-filled ways of Dominican friars and sisters. I pursued and completed theological studies at Loyola Institute for Ministry in New Orleans from 2006-2010. From 2008-2011 I was in discernment with Sisters of Peace, O.P. In 2010 I moved from Louisiana to Kansas. In 2010 I undertook and completed in 2013 a three year Spiritual Direction Program at Heartland Center for Spirituality in Great Bend, Kansas, all the while working as Pastoral Minister at the Catholic Church of Barber County, Kansas, a cluster of 3 sister churches.

It was in December of 2013 that the gentle voice of God laid on my heart the thought of the Episcopal Church. As a Roman Catholic lay woman I had always desired to be at the Altar as the Roman priests were. I listened to God’s calling and I entered a chapter that changed my life. I was received into All Saints’ Episcopal Church (Notice the name!), Pratt, Kansas, on June 12, 2014. I completed a year of Anglican studies at BKSM (Bishop Kemper School of Ministry) in Topeka, Kansas. On December 12, 2015 I was ordained a deacon and on July 9, 2016, a priest. During my period of Postulancy and studies I worked full time at Larrison Mortuaries in Medicine Lodge and Pratt, Kansas. From 2016 – 2018 I served as Vicar of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Medicine Lodge, Kansas and worked full time as Manager of South Wind Thrift Shop in Pratt, Kansas.

Sisters and Brothers, God initiated and I responded. In the fall of 2018 the Spirit moved again … in the parishioners of All Saints’ Episcopal Church of West Plains, Missouri who were seeking a priest to shepherd them … and in me, a priest open to the awareness of God’s next step in my journey and seeking a family to serve and spiritually guide.

The installation of Mother Terry at All Saint’s West Plains. February 26, 2019 Image credit: Donna Field

May the meditations of my heart attuned to the Holy Spirit direct my words and actions as Mother to my new family of All Saints!

Gary Allman

Gary Allman is the Director of Communications at The Diocese of West Missouri

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