Miek Olsthoorn-van Rest was born on March 31 in 1932 in Schiedam, Netherlands, as the middle one of a big Roman Catholic family of nine children. As a child she frequented the primary school in her dwelling-place and co-ordinated the secondary school in the same building, under the lead of Dominican sisters. After the secondary school she frequented the by Franciscan nuns lead teacher training-college in Rotterdam and there she also took the Religion A certificate and her headmaster’s certificate. After the training-college she was appointed to a Roman Catholic primary girls’school in Schiedam, where she had given lessons for seven years. In that period she took her Religion B certificate.
In 1958 she moved out to Coevorden in the province Drenthe, where she was appointed to a Roman Catholic boys’ and girls-school and where she studied English to qualify for the secondary school education. After having made the acquaintance with her present-day husband, an ex-father Franciscan, she did not complete her English study and removed to Amsterdam, where she had given lessons to boys and girls for one year. After her marriage with the above-mentioned priest she removed to Purmerend where she had lived and worked for seven years. She and her husband Nico got two children, Hester and Dirk. Hester, having Down syndrome, has lived in an apartment of her own since 1999, under guidance, and she is doing very well. Dirk, has been a teacher at a secondary school since 1999, and he got married with Ellen Snel in 2001. From 2007, Miek lives again in Purmerend, exactly on the spot where her former school Saint Jozef used to be. And she enjoys it.

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The next twenty years Miek Olsthoorn-van Rest had lived and worked in Ilpendam, a village along the Noord-Holland canal between Amsterdam and Purmerend. Because of her increasing activities for the Ilpendam parish she took a two years’ course for bible and a three years’ course for liturgy in the Haarlem diocese.
Via that two years’ course she contacted feministic theology. When taking a reading course about this subject at the Amsterdam Roman Catholic Theological University she was touched by the quick when reading the book Sexism and God Talk, by the American author Rosemary Radford Ruether. This book revolutionized her life. That process she describes in her book My Heaven on Earth. At last it got explicit clear to her that church and religion could no longer play a part in her life, and her husband supporting her in this, she moved out to Monnickendam. There she wrote her book My Heaven on Earth and so she redeemed a promise to her son Dirk, who had great difficulties at the time when his parents switched over from a believing to an unbelieving existence. Miek Olsthoorn-van Rest has published her to Dirk addressed story to ask increasing public profile for the part of the woman in the Roman Catholic Church, which used to be her church as well. Also as an ‘outsider’ it is still hurting her that to women in ‘her’ church an equal part has not yet been given.

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