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A weomans call to the priesthood

MARGARET

Margaret, whose name has been changed at her own request for reasons of anonymity, has long felt a call to be a priest.

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?

March 2002


Overview Signs of a Vocation A woman's journey Steps to take Answering critics Writing your story
Six options for Catholic women who feel called to the priesthood?

There is no more 'man' or 'woman' in Christ. Gal 3,28

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Wijngaards Institute for Catholic ResearchThis website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.

The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars' declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.

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