The Anglican Parish of Mount Vincent and Weston has warmly welcomed its new rector, the Reverend Dr Theresa Angert-Quilter.
Rev Angert-Quilter – or Mother Theresa, as she’s known to the parishioners – was commissioned at Kurri Kurri in July.
“The parish is just gorgeous, so friendly and welcoming, they do such good work, and are so open and kind,” she said.
Rev Angert-Quilter was born in the United States and attended a Franciscan high school in Pennsylvania.
She holds three degrees in theology – which she studied for in the US, Belgium and Australia – and taught others training for the priesthood before she became ordained herself in the 1980s.
She met her husband John Quilter (a lecturer in philosophy at the Australian Catholic University) while in Australia.
The couple has two sons – John and Joseph – and three grandchildren.
Rev Angert-Quilter has served at a number of parishes in Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle and Goulburn.
She taught Greek and biblical studies at St John’s College, Morpeth from 1998 to 2004.
She has also been chaplain at Macquarie University, hospitals and Goulburn Correctional Centre (where she was the first female Anglican chaplain).
It was after undergoing open heart surgery on an hereditary condition last year that Rev Angert-Quilter decided she wanted to return to the Hunter region.
“It was as if God had given me a new life,” she said.
“I survived, so I thought I would like to be back in the Newcastle Diocese where I had such a wonderful time.
“It’s really nice to be back and be in a place I’ve journeyed with before in such a positive way, and continue to celebrate the fact that I’m alive, it’s just lovely!”
She has seen a number of her former students since her return, some of whom are now in “quite high places” in the Diocese.
One even had a tattoo in Greek letters as a tribute to his days under her tutelage.
Rev Angert-Quilter said she is delighted to be part of the quiet, country parish, which includes St Paul’s Kurri Kurri, St Mary’s Weston and Christ Church Mount Vincent.
“They are beautiful churches with beautiful people,” she said.
“They do lots of great work, and are so sincere in their prayer.
“We’re very settled in, I’m very happy to be here and hope to stay.”