At age thirty, Minna Proctor, a child of the seventies and product of divorced parents—Jewish mother, Catholic father, had no religious orientation. In fact, her last “spiritual” foray was her perfunctory bat mitzvah. So when her father wants to become an Episcopal priest, Minna Proctor is flummoxed. Brought up primarily by her mother in a household without any religious expression or guidance, Proctor was surprised to learn that her charming, intellectual father had a religious life, and what’s more, a higher calling. When he is summarily turned away, Proctor delves into the Byzantine discernment process that rejected her father from the priesthood—discovering, to her surprise, how insanely difficult it is to actually become a priest—and the pivotal role that calling plays in the evaluation, both historically and to this day. What unfolds is a remarkable intellectual pursuit—a young woman’s quest to understand religious and spiritual experience, her family, and the cultural context in which she was raised.
Based on lengthy conversations with her father, interviews with clergy and religious scholars, and readings of classic faith narratives from Augustine to Simone Weil, Do You Hear What I Hear? is a broad-minded and fascinating exploration of a very human phenomenon—the urge to know WHAT you are supposed to be doing with your life—in the light of cultural shifts over the last three decades, from one of the most talented young intellectuals writing today.