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Anne Wall follows her calling, becomes an Episcopal deacon

Busy, busy, busy. This is life for the Rev. Anne F. Wall since she was ordained June 3 at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. As a deacon in the Episcopal church, the Los Altos resident works for the bishop of the diocese.

Wall wears two hats at Stanford Hospital. She is the Episcopal chaplain and the interfaith chaplain for the medical Intensive Care Unit and trauma service. She also serves as a deacon at St. Bede's Parish on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park.

"In the clerical order, a deacon is the eyes and ears for the bishop. They identify the needs of the sick, the hungry and the homeless. Those necessities of life are mentioned in the deacon's ordination vows," Wall said. "Once the needs are determined, the deacon returns to the church and connects the parishioners with people who are in need."

Wall graduated from Stanford University and was a banker for more than 20 years. She was vice president and manager of the Sharon Heights office for Wells Fargo Bank. After a short period in Seattle where her husband, Jim, accepted a position, they returned to the Bay Area and she became vice president and manager of the Bank of America in San Carlos.

"I'm a cradle Episcopalian. I was baptized, confirmed, married and both my sons were baptized in Dundee, Ill.," Wall said.

"About the time we returned to the Bay Area, (her faith) became tugging at my heart, and I became a volunteer chaplain at Stanford University Hospital."

She entered a three-year program at the Episcopal School for Deacons in San Francisco and graduated with a bachelor's degree in theology.

"I think it's important that everyone listens to their heart and not be afraid to follow what your heart tells you. A spiritual calling can be so rewarding," Wall said.

In order to be a hospital chaplain, the member of the clergy has to complete a clinical pastoral education program. To be the interfaith chaplain, Wall was trained in the customs and traditions of other religions.

"A spiritual calling can become a bumpy road for the spouse," Wall said. "In my case, I went back to school and on weekends I did papers, and didn't go on the golf course with my husband.

"He encouraged and supported me and joined my journey as a partner," she said of Jim, who is president of the Bank of Los Altos.

Early each morning, Wall reads a short meditation from four different traditions. Shortly after her readings, she walks her Welsh Corgi, Epi along downtown Los Altos streets.

"Epi and I try to brighten the day for each person we pass on our walk," Wall said. "Once you become involved in human nature, you realize there is an endless amount of work to be done."

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