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Mother Julia: Priest, acupuncurist, Tai Chi instructor

Mother Julia: Priest, acupuncurist, Tai Chi instructor

Julia Fritts McWilliams “represents that postmodern eclectic spirit that isn’t afraid of drawing from different traditions and incorporating that into what she does,” says the rector of the church where she works as a priest associate.


The Rev. Fritts McWilliams teaches seated meditation and Tai Chi at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in Corvallis, Ore. She also is a licensed acupuncturist. No matter what she’s doing, her next sermon is always at the back of her mind.

“People for all of their own very good reasons have shied away from church, but yet there’s this longing for the holy,” she says. “I offer different ways to develop spirit practice that doesn’t require any sort of indoctrination, party line, none of that.”

Read a profile of this multi-talented priest in the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

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Bill Dilworth

And it turns out that acupuncture was introduced to the West by - the Jesuits!

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William R. MacKaye

If you read the story from the Corvallis Gazette-Times, you'll discover that both Mother Julia and the reporter, who calls her simply Fritts McWilliams, know that she's not "The Rev. Fritts McWilliams." Why doesn't Episcopal Cafe? Puh-leeze. On a more positive note, I can claim a Lutheran pastor friend who's a massage therapist and reiki practitioner.

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Bill Dilworth

I got curious and did a couple of quick and dirty Google searches to see if there were any other priests who were acupuncturists. To my surprise, in a short time I found several Episcopal priests who were practitioners, a couple of Orthodox priests who were either practitioners or married to one, and an RC permanent deacon/acupuncturist. Don't know how many total there are out there, but there are certainly more than I thought there would be. I wonder what other medical fields have priests from various Christian communities as practitioners?

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Bill Dilworth

I used to know an Orthodox priest (OCA) back in Austin whose "day job" was acupuncture, too.

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