Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Ma'am, you should be a priest"

It's my latest on the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's "Being Catholic" blog.  Yes, it's been posted on this blog before, but I like to dust it off every now and again.

A few years ago I was volunteering at a local pro-life event, when a Catholic acquaintance approached me to say hello.  She asked what I was doing these days.  At my reply that I am studying for a master’s in theology, she grumbled, “It’s a shame you’re into that Theology of the Body, or else you could be a priest.”
 Shocked, I attempted to collect my composure being answering. 
 I have had a handful of Protestants ask if my goal was to be a minister upon graduation.  Despite my insistence to the contrary, middle-aged Brenda, from whom I purchased my car a few years ago, eagerly told her mother that I was going to be a minister.  The mother ran out of the house, arms flailing in excitement at the revelation that I would be preaching the Good News in such a capacity.  My protests were met with wagging fingers and amused expressions as they told me that “God surprises us sometimes.”
 Yet I think my run-in at the pro-life event was my first encounter with a Catholic who thought that I should be a priest.  She had no interest in my words that the priesthood isn’t about power, but about service.  “Tell that to the priests,” she quipped.

You can find it here.

1 comment:

  1. Emily, I get this ALL the time! Especially when I started telling older Catholic women that I was starting my doctorate in theology. "it's about time" and ""good for you" ended up being the first phrases followed by things like "one step closer to priesthood" or "just wait, you'll be a bishop someday."
    And I agree, they just wouldn't Listen when I came back with replies like "God forbid." So I hear you. We need a greater influx of women who will use their intelligence at the service of God's people, and who continue to contribute to the academy and advise our priests and bishops with our feminine genius, so that we are not a rare and misunderstood breed!
    And I do think we need to pray for those priests who do mistake their service for power, and those who have been hurt by that lack of humility.