by Athanasia Papadimitriou
Late Call Priests and Converts
Certain women face special challenges in deciding to share their husbands’ ministry. In some cases, their husbands may have chosen to follow the call to the priesthood later in life. Such women face major emotional changes in their established married and family lives. Changes in their careers will affect them financially. In other cases, women who have converted to the Orthodox faith may be particularly anxious about becoming priests’ wives because they do not know what to expect in a parish. Some women fear that they will be faced with language challenges in bilingual parishes.
In facing these special challenges, a spiritual father can guide them and help them understand God’s will. The couple needs to pray together to make the correct decision regarding the husband’s ordination to the priesthood. After making their decision, they need to pray to God to give them strength to carry out this ministry effectively.
The ministry is not a job that can be changed. Once a man is ordained, he is always a priest.
From A.:Papademetriou’s “Presbytera” The Life, Mission, and Service of the Priest’s Wife.” Ed. Somerset Hall Press, Boston, Massachusetts, 2004.