'Chat to your incumbent, curate or assistant priest about how they came to be ordained and how they feel it helps them to live out their faith every day.'
I had a lovely conversation with a self-supporting priest who has delivered services for us in the past. It was a great opportunity to get to know her better as well 'practice' for the assignment.
Her road to ordination had not been quick, or easy. She had felt the call at an early age, but had not been ordained until she was well into middle age. Along the way she had met and talked with many people. Some had told her ordination was not for her, some had said she was not ready, a few had been more supportive. But despite many knockbacks and problems she never lost that pull, the call was always there. Finally she started on the LLM road, completing a course similar to that which we are undertaking now, but, when she went for her discernment meeting, it didn't quite go the way she expected, and quite unexpectedly she was told to try again for ordination. Now she is ordained and a self-supporting priest.
As a self-supporting priest she also has a secular day-job. Her ordination supports her in how she deals with people at work, and how she responds to difficult customers. She is 'quiet' about her ordained status at work, although her colleagues know. It informs everything she does and how she lives her life. I told her I have decided I was not obedient enough to even contemplate being a reader and she laughed...'who is?' she asked. That surprised me a little.
To summarise I learnt that the journey does not end and can take surprising turns that what we are called too is not alwasy easy, but that we are expected to keep on keeping on, to be tenacious, and as obedient as we can, and sometimes God may send us a curveball. I also learnt that being ordained does not make someone superhuman, they are still open to the same frailities as the rest of us.
Finally, we talked for an hour and the assignment is only 10 minutes! I really need to hone my questionning technique.