Yesterday, I had an unexpected treat.
Thanks to this very blog, I was invited to go and talk with the students at one of our local Catholic girls’ high schools about women in ministry. I didn’t know anyone there–apparently one of the theology teachers uses Lent Madness in class and discovered my blog thusly. (Ah, the wonders of the intertubez!)
I was so psyched. No kidding–talking to young women about my job is one of my all-time favorite things, because it always feels like I am disclosing one of the secrets of the universe. Yes, you, too, can do this job! And wear these shoes at the same time!
I sat at a small table and girls came up to sit with me to eat lunch if they wanted. Other tables were staffed by nuns, in a variety of habits, another Episcopal priest and a local Muslim activist.
I don’t think I said anything profound. I talked a lot about how the Episcopal Church differed from the Catholic Church (same service, different emphasis in theology, and we really like elections.) I talked about how I had decided to become a priest. (God called me, I pouted, then gave in.) And I talked about why I loved my job (I get to talk about the most important stuff, and I get to bless wine and bread, and then hand people a piece of God.)
But I absolutely loved it, because I know how desperate I was in high school for any glimpse of an adult who was living a life that I wanted. I was lucky–I had known female priests all my life–but at that critical moment, I didn’t have anyone around that made the life I thought I was called to seem within grasp.
The students were delightful and engaged, asking good questions. We cheerfully ate Skittles and cookies all through lunch. And then I headed on back to my normal life with a lovely swag bag. (It’s like I’m famous!!!)
Probably, no one had a conversion moment. But hopefully, the girls saw another option of what adult life could be for them.