At Confirmation I took for my patron saint, St. Theresa of the Child Jesus (St. Theresa of Lieuseux) Little did I know that I would come to find out that she too had the desire to be priest. At 16 years of age, I remember thinking that if I were a boy, I would become a priest. I tried so hard to convince myself that I wanted to be a sister, but my heart just wasn't there. As time moved on I grew in spirituality and knew within my heart that this feeling was real. It was not a quest for power or prestige, as some people say, but was a longing to be where I truly felt God was calling me to serve "him". I've tried to alleviate my sorrow for not being a priest, by service in the Church. I taught for seven years in a public elementary school, and now work as a Director of Religious Education in a parish. I'm also scheduled to graduate from the Pastoral Ministry program in our Archdiocese, and am four courses away from getting my Masters in Theology.
My calling was so great that I felt I had to explore other avenues, and that perhaps being an Episcopalian priest would be the answer. I talked to many people, clergy, theologians in the Episcopalian faith, but after much soul-searching > realized that my calling was for the Catholic Church. In all conscience I had to explore that possibility though, and I'm glad I did, because it made me realize that I am to build up the Body of Christ within the Catholic Church, somehow. So often, I've felt my hands tied, and I have literally cried when I see how some priests celebrate the Eucharist, or how they respond to their people with coldness, and indifference. All I can say is that I leave it up to God. God knows that if I had the opportunity I would answer the call to serve God as a priest. I leave the responsibility up to the Church. At times the emptiness in my heart is so great to bear, and all because I was bom a female instead of a male.
So many people suffer for lack of a priest, when God provides many. It just happens to be in the form of women. How long before the Church realizes that life is a balance, and that male and female can all work together for the good of all, as equals?
|Six options for Catholic women who feel called to the priesthood?|
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