A frequently asked question from the young women I teach is, “Don’t you feel like it’s unfair that women can’t be priests?” As a woman working in the Church and teaching the faith, I think they expect me to feel cheated, as if my rights are being disrespected. While I have taken the time to consider the question and its implications, I would never change my answer: “Not at all!” The role I have is an absolute privilege and different roles do not mean unequal or unfair—they just mean different.
My job as a Catholic middle school religion teacher is a great privilege. Every day, I get to share the Gospel with my students. My classroom is a place where people are invited to know and love the Lord, where the Scriptures are spoken, where our story of salvation is told year after year. I have a fundamental task in the lives of my students. COVID or not, I am an “essential worker” in the vineyard of the Lord because what I teach must be shared. It affects the salvation of souls.