‘I have already carried out the ministry of a deacon’
I was baptized Catholic, I entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and I have ministered for nearly 50 years as a teacher, hospital chaplain, spiritual director and pastoral minister in various parish, diocesan and campus settings in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and California.
I have a Doctor of Ministry degree from the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
In 1974, I applied to the Diaconate Program in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, but women were not accepted. Yet when I was serving as a pastoral associate in the late 1970s, my pastor asked me to supervise one of the two deacon candidates from our parish while he supervised the other. In the late 1990s until 2001, I taught in the same program to which I had applied. God’s plan is mysterious!
I do hope the Church ordains women to the diaconate soon. There is no reason why it should be postponed any longer, since women have done pastoral and spiritual ministry for many, many years! As a rural Pastoral Administrator, I have already carried out the ministry of a deacon and much of what a priest does. I have been a lay presider of Word and Communion Services, and have preached and assisted with Sacraments. Ordination as deacons would enable women to baptize and officiate at marriages. The grace of ordination itself would be welcome support in doing the work.
Sr. Mary A. Lamski, C.S.J., currently serves as a spiritual director in St. Paul, Minnesota.
[Photo: Sr. Mary leads a training session for deacon and lay minister candidates at the Institute for Christian Life and Ministry in 1998.]