Anna Stein

St. Paul, MN

"I have always had an intimate, real friendship with God. As a child, I asked the big questions about life-- its meaning, my purpose, the point-- and I asked them directly to whom I knew had the answers. Prayer, reflection, service-- it all steadily became fundamental to knowing myself. As I got older and started learning about the Church, and started taking my sacramental participation in its community seriously, the Mass became increasingly meaningful to me. I became very connected to the Gospel-- enthralled in the stories of the gospels, connected to the characters within the parables, able to relate to the apostles, able to understand Jesus's teachings, passionate about a life of social justice and discipleship that the faith insists. At my Jesuit undergraduate university, I became very contemplative in prayer and immersed in the life of Jesus-- and it fueled an interest in theological studies, and further encouraged me to be involved in liturgy. Today, I am in graduate school for theology, and I feel my soul surging forward whenever I'm in the presence of the Eucharist; I feel the meaning of Scripture flowing through me when I volunteer as lector; and I have an insatiable desire to understand God. I know that it is my vocation to be a theologian, but I often wonder: if the priesthood was an option, is this what the call to it feels like? Theology as my profession is not completely satisfying-- I do feel called closer to the Table, to be more involved in the Mass, to preach and speak about the gospels. If women could be deacons, I think my vocation could be further lived out."
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