Rev. Gabriella Cahaley, our minister since August 2014, follows in a long tradition of Swedenborgian ministers in Pretty Prairie. Most notable and recent among them are Rev. Allison Lane-Olsen, Rev. Jane Siebert,
Each of these ministers enriched the community with their teachings about religion is of life.
After many years in aquatics, developing programs, coaching and teaching swimming and exercise, Gabriella entered a new phase of her life when she returned to school in 2003 to pursue what she describes, as a subtle call to ministry. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona in 2006. She was accepted unto the Ordination track at the Swedenborgian House of Studies while attending seminary at the Pacific School of Religion. Four semesters into her Masters of Divinity Program in Berkeley, John, her husband suffered a medical crisis that necessitated returning to Tucson. She transferred to Earlham School of Religion, enrolling both in on-line and intensives on campus in Richmond IN where she was able to finish her Masters of Divinity Program. 2011 was a year of changes for Gabriella and John. Gabriella graduated from Earlham in May, received her ordination in July and accepted a call to become the pastor of the New Church of Southwest Florida. Gabriella and John moved to Fort Myers Beach where her life as a pastor began. Their life took a sudden turn in January 2012. John was diagnosed with two cancers. Once again, a health crisis necessitated a move back to their home in Tucson where John was admitted into hospice. Gabriella used her training in Clinical Pastoral Education to work as chaplain in two hospices. Sunday mornings, Gabriella lead prayer and meditation between two services at Ricncon U.C.C. and continued Circle Community, a ministry she began while still in seminary. She became a spiritual director after receiving training at the Hesychia School for Spiritual Direction in Tucson.Gabriella a member of Spiritual Directors International, offers spiritual direction in Pretty Prairie and Pawnee Rock KS.
Gabriella’s life partner of 46 years, John Cahaley,
died in April 2014. Family and friends gathered at Sunrise Chapel in Tucson for the Remembrance Service. Rev. Frank Rose, a long time family friend and Gabriella’s mentor, conducted the service. An intensive job search in areas close to family was unsuccessful. Gabriella believes that candidating and being called to pastor the Petty Prairie and Pawnee Rock New Church congregations was nothing short of divine providence at work. She is mindful of the blessings in her life and delghts being of service in the two communities.