I'm a female, I know I can't be a priest but . .


#1

I enjoyed reading the thread about the young woman wanting to be a priest. It prompted me to post about my problem.

I can identify with wanting to be a priest. I'm a female and I think being a priest would be awesome. I know women are not permitted and I am not arguing for them to be permitted. I am obedient to the Church and I am very conservative (so please, don't anyone misunderstand my views). I have noticed in Protestant denominations, first it's women ministers, then it's gay ministers, etc. It's a downward slide to apostasy so I accept the fact that I cannot be called to the priesthood.

Here's my problem: :confused: I haven't figured out my vocation. I grew up as the daughter of a Protestant preacher. As a Protestant, I often thought of pursuing some sort of ministry and I struggled because it seemed like a no-brainer that I should do something in the church but I wasn't called. (It makes perfect sense to me now since God called me to the Catholic Church). Anyway, I became a Catholic last Easter and leading up to that point and for a few months afterwards, I had a burning desire to be a priest. I idolized priests and looked at them like rock stars. I was thinking it was the ultimate most awesome job a person could have. My motivation to wanting to be one had something to do with wanting to be close to God and wanting to help people and wanting to be like my newfound role model (my parish priest). I got over that thinking and I thought maybe it was my beginner's enthusiasm. However, some of the feelings have returned. I just love the Mass and I go often during the week. I wish I could hang out in the church building all the time (it was Jesus in the Tabernacle that first drew me to Catholicism).

So of course, I've wondered if I'm meant to be a nun (at the moment, I'm a lawyer but it's not a career I want forever). Here's a couple of issues: I'm not a good candidate for community living. I couldn't handle sharing a house with a bunch of people. I like my privacy and I have a pet so I can't see sisterhood happening. However, parish priests get to live alone in a rectory - - are there nuns/sisters that can live alone in an apartment or something? The other part of being a priest that appeals to me is preaching. My father is a preacher and I am energized by public speaking - - I truly believe I have a gift in this area. I'm a lector and catechism teacher at my church. Can a layperson be called to preach (I don't mean preaching during the Mass - - I mean preaching, as in speaking to groups, evangelizing - - preaching outside of Mass).

Maybe my questions are a bit dumb-sounding, but as a new Catholic, I'm truly clueless about vocation possibilities. I live in a small town so I don't see a lot of possibilities here.

Thanks for listening! :)


#2

Check with the local Third Orders if you feel the fire or become involved in some of the ministries of the parish that you are a member of. There is alot of stuff out there.

It wasn’t until recently on these forums that I discovered the Third Orders. Third Orders are members of orders such as Franciscans, Dominicans, etc. that follow the path of a specific Saint. The Third Orders are open to both women and men and as a Secular you are able to interact with the world in any occupation, through marriage, etc.

One of the ministries we have locally is making bag lunches and distributing them to the poor. Alot of parishes have similar ones. Also alot of diocese offer classes where you can learn about the Catholic faith in order to teach children, young adults or even adults. With your profession as an attorney I’m sure you can be persuasive and that is a gift/talent that could come in handy.


#3

Don't rush it. Don't let the rush mute out God, He is speaking to you. Be still and listen.

What is it that a priest does that you would like to do? Perhaps there is already a lay ministry that does that particular function that appeal to you. I always liked homilies and when a priest is bad with it I always say to myself I can do better. So I went out and become a catechist. Not that its like preaching but teaching is as fulfilling at least from where I see it. I'm a man but I'm married so the priesthood is out of the question. Also, I find there's less pressure since I'm not ordained so its not like I'm itching to be a Deacon.


#4

There's lots of things you can do....We all have a vocation even if we don't enter a religious order. That vocation is to share the Good News of our faith through words and through our actions. The world is in great need of people to live and work the Beatitudes. You can volunteer at all sorts of organizations that serve the poor and others in need.

One suggestion to be to pray for guidance about what you are to do. The answer will come.


#5

You might be surprised to find there are religious orders where you can use your legal skills and even keep your pet.
You will also still have privacy, even in the group living situation.

Start looking around, keep praying, and listen. I’ll pray for you. I think you would make a great contribution to the church because you seem so dedicated. May God bless you.


#6

The deacon at my Byzantine parish works for Catholic Charities as a lawyer in addition to serving at the parish, so yes, there are lots of ways to put your law degree to good use.


#7

Look into secular Third Orders (discalced carmelite, dominican, benedictine, etc). , or, consider diocesan hermit.


#8

When I think of the word Evangelist, I NEVER think Catholic.

So, as a cradel Catholic, imagine my suprise when our church had a CATHOLIC Evangelist come to speak. He was AMAZING. The passion he had for the church. He's also recognized as a healer. Unbelievable. Not my world, but CATHOLIC... WOW.. all I could think was... isn't this the realm of those crazy tv shows where they just seem to take $$ from people. But it was NOTHING like that! I was really impressed. You should have heard him talk about Mary, and the Rosary, as a pathway to understanding, & loving Christ...

I would look into Female Catholic Evangelists... Not sure how one goes about this... But if you like that element of public speaking and exciting a person about God... That may be a realm for you!

HTHs...


#9

Thanks for your replies. I will have to wait on God's guidance and pray in the meantime. Yes, I'd like to be an evangelist - - that would be awesome. I watch Fr. Corapi on EWTN and I think it would be great to do what he does.


#10

[quote="legaleagle, post:9, topic:228797"]
Thanks for your replies. I will have to wait on God's guidance and pray in the meantime. Yes, I'd like to be an evangelist - - that would be awesome. I watch Fr. Corapi on EWTN and I think it would be great to do what he does.

[/quote]

There are lots of women who do this sort of work. It's hard - there is a lot of traveling involved, and you have to learn to live out of a suitcase, but they seem to dress and eat well enough, and they are giving their lives to the preaching of the Gospel in a way that builds up and edifies the whole Church.

I say, go for it. :thumbsup:


#11

There is good advice in the above posts.

Might I suggest that, if you were to look into either a life as a consecrated religious, or a third order, that you look particularly at the Dominicans? You have this love of preaching, they are the Order of Preachers, after all!

May God bless you and guide you as you discern His will. The rector of our seminary said in a homily last month "Discernment of God's will is not a question to be answered nor a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived." I love it. Just trust that you will find His will, and grow in prayer and love each day in Him. Enjoy every moment of it.

In the love of Christ and Mary,
Frank


#12

Thanks Cominghome89, I will check out the Dominicans for sure. I didn't realize they were preachers. :)

I also like what your rector said:

"Discernment of God's will is not a question to be answered nor a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived."

God bless!


#13

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.