Careers for Our Daughters–a Catholic Perspective

   I gave a presentation to a group of high school young women about “Choosing Your Career.”  It struck me how different the Catholic perspective on this is than either a fundamentalist Protestant view or a secular feminist view.
   On the one hand, are girls to imagine themselves as housewives and elementary school teachers, as I was taught at my fundamentalist baptist church as a child?
   On the other hand, are they to imagine themselves as holding powerful positions in the public sector as I was taught by the secular humanists that I was influenced by in high school?
   The Catholic answer is YES to it ALL!  We may indeed enjoy being mothers, housewives, and elementary school teachers.  What a way to be the presence of Christ in the world.  Mothers bear the image of Christ in his Eucharist, nourishing children with their body and blood–how sacred!  Teachers reflect Christ the Teacher, the Logos–what a mighty calling!
    Alternatively, the Catholic Church encourages women to participate in the fullest measure in public life, from corporate life to government to the non-profit sector.  Catholic laywomen are called to be “leaven” in society, evangelizing and shining the light of Christ by means of lives resplendent in faith, hope and charity.
    What is women’s work?  Being “another Christ” to their children, husbands, family friends, and in the workplace, in the government, in schools, in institutions of all kinds.
    What a strong and sacred view of a young woman’s future the Catholic Church has!