About Terri Celmer

Terri Celmer has been making a positive impact in people’s lives nearly all of her life, sharing her love for Jesus Christ and witnessing to the gospel through loving and faithful deeds. A lifelong Catholic, Terri gave her life to the Lord when she was fourteen years old and was baptized in the Spirit at age seventeen. As a young adult she spent time serving in youth ministry, including directing a play for high school students.

When she married and had children she developed her own personal style of making children disciples of our Lord. Terri gave a prayer journal to her daughter at the age of 3 to encourage her to draw pictures of what she received in family prayer. She had her son’s First Holy Communion class pray over her for healing of her cancer when they were on their class retreat in second grade.

​​Terri battled cancer from 1989 to 1996. The granddaughter of Protestant missionaries to Japan on her father’s side, she used the time she was in the hospital for medical procedures to speak to her doctors and nurses about God’s love. After receiving an experimental vaccine two tumors shrank and went away; medical personnel considered it a “remarkable recovery” from Stage IV cancer. Terri gave God the glory and began telling people that physical healings are a foretaste of the resurrection of the dead.

When her own children were teenagers Terri became a certified catechist and offered occasional talks on the blessed hope, prayer and the spiritual life for the adult faith enrichment programs in her parish and as a member of a local Catholic and ecumenical charismatic community. Alert to the hazards of being known as a “churchy” mom or one that neglects her family life and home, she was careful to watch her time commitments in those years. When her children entered college, she was able to do more in her parish. She restored the parish’s women’s ministry and offered quarterly mornings of reflection for women.

In addition to presenting talks and retreats, Terri is a friend and spiritual mentor to many people, both young and not so young. In 2014 Terri discerned a call from God to become a spiritual director in order to assist people in their spiritual growth. ​She received her spiritual direction formation from the Lanteri Center for Ignatian Spirituality and currently her schedule permits her to meet with a limited number of people for spiritual direction. Terri considers it a privilege to listen to – and listen for – how God is working in a person’s life.

Terri displays a charism of encouragement in her life and ministry. She has helped many understand that God has given them a specific task to do “for a time such as this” (Esther 4:14). Often that task begins with a time of waiting and being filled with the love of God before being sent on mission. ​This has been the case for many of the young people Terri has come to know through her retreat work and spiritual accompaniment who have gone on to discern a vocation to marriage and are now raising faith-filled families that form the next generation in the Church.