Janine Martire

New York

"When my sisters and I were little, we used to play church more often than house. We would set up an altar in our basement and practice serving, something we would all come to do later, and something I still get to do this day. I always ended up with the lead role, that of priest, deacon or the sister who had trained all the kids in our parish to be servers; I saw these people as reverent leaders and knew I needed to carryout each step correctly and seriously to serve God as best as I could. This desire to serve at the altar continued to grow as I went through high school and got the chance to regularly serve during Holy Week, Holy Hours and other special celebrations. I even remember Sundays that I would sometimes serve 2 or 3 masses. Discernment was introduced to both my vocabulary and prayer life at that time. I began discerning a call to religious life with the help of a priest spiritual director, and came to see that is not what I am called to do. I instead felt drawn to the role of the deacon, but I did not let myself explore or discern this until now because I knew women in the Catholic Church are not able to be ordained as deacons. I am thankful for all the people in my life who have encouraged my discernment and educated me in the practices of our faith and the teachings of scripture. I am particularly thankful and hopeful for Pope Francis, the Commission, Future Church, my sisters in faith discerning their own calls and my brothers in faith supporting change as the possibility of women in the diaconate is being researched."
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