Marion Boden

Rockville Centre, NY

" For many years, I felt called to ordination. The only ordination that came to mind was to that of the priesthood. I remember the joy and the jealousy I felt when the first women were ordained in the Episcopal Church. I remember well the heart-stopping moment when Sister Theresa Kane called upon Pope John Paul II to include women in all ministries of the Church. There were no Deacons in my parish in those days. Deacons were a not very visible presence in other parishes and only seemed to me to be an extra person up on the altar. They seemed superfluous somehow. Despite that, as I prayed about my role in the church, it eventually dawned on me that what I really wanted to be was to be a Deacon. They are of the people and with the people and not set apart as priests are or as priests generally are perceived or perceive themselves to be. They are more involved in the daily lives of the people in the pews and beyond the pews. They are generally married and have thus walked the walk of most of the congregation. While they can administer sacraments, they also are often the ones who provide for the material needs of the people. This is actually much more in line with my call. It is actually much of what I already do. Unfortunately it took many years to realize that. But, for now, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what I am called to do. If it involves ordination I am out of the picture. I am a woman. I'm 74 years old. I am realistic. I have given up for myself just to have more peace. The Church's lack of respect for women and for their gifts and talents, just made me angry and all that anger was spilling over into my spiritual life. So I have accepted the fact that I will never be ordained. However, I pray daily that the Commission on the Diaconate will advise Pope Francis that women can and should be ordained. I hope he will accept and implement their recommendation. And I will rejoice for those women who will finally be ordained Deacons as women once were earlier in the life of the Church. I just will not be one of them."
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