An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Piccard, Jeanette Ridlon

(Jan. 5, 1895-May 17, 1981). First woman ordained priest in the Episcopal Church. She was born in Chicago. Piccard received her B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Bryn Mawr College in 1918, her M.S. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1919, and her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Minnesota in 1942. In 1919 she married Jean Piccard. She and her husband were balloonists. In 1934 she obtained a pilot's license. With her husband, she piloted their balloon to 57,559 feet over Lake Erie in Oct. 1934. She was the first woman to reach such heights. Piccard studied at the General Theological Seminary. She was ordained deacon on June 29, 1971. She was the first woman ordained in the July 29, 1974, “irregular” ordinations of eleven women deacons to the priesthood at the Church of the Advocate, Philadelphia. Following her ordination to the priesthood, Piccard served as associate rector at St. Philip's Church, St. Paul, Minnesota. On May 14, 1981, she was installed as an honorary canon of the Cathedral of St. Mark in Minneapolis. The ceremony was held in her hospital room. Piccard died in Minneapolis.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.