Linette Servais had been an organist at the St. Joseph Catholic Parish for 35 years before her second job selling "romance enhancers" jeopardized her employment with the church.
Servais sells sex toys, lotions, and spa products through parties held in homes for an Ohio-Based company called Pure Romance.
She tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that as a Christian, she feels the need to help other women, who like her, have sexual problems as a result of cancer. As a brain tumor survivor, which she says detrimentally affected her sex life, Servais says she feels a personal connection to the women to whom she sells the products.
Servais didn't have a problem until she brought some of the spa products to a church trade show.
"Because it was the parish, I didn't bring anything other than the lotions," Servais tells the newspaper.
Servais had been slowly relieved of her duties at the church until Parish Priest Father Dean Dombroski offered her an ultimatum--quit selling products for Pure Romance or be fired from her job at the church.
The newspaper reports that Dombroski sent a letter to the parish members that read: "Linette is a consultant for a firm which sells products of a sexual nature that are not consistent with Church teachings. Because parish leaders are expected to model the teaching of our faith, once this matter became public she and I met and she was given a choice. Either she could stay on as the choir director/organist or she could continue to be a consultant but she could not do both."
Servais says her job selling sex-enhancing products is about empowering women and helping their marriages.
"Father Dean made it sound so sinful," she tells the Journal Sentinel. "There is so much more to this business than toys."
For Servais, the decision was an easy one. "After I got over the initial shock, I prayed over this a long time," she says. "I feel that Pure Romance is my ministry."
Sources: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and WBIR.com (video interview)