Photo taken at Santa María Tulpetlac Church, Mexico City

An Encounter that Continues to Reveal:
Our Lady,  Juan Diego,
and the Church in the Americas

Greetings on this Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe,

Discerning Deacons and members of the Women and Ministeriality Thematic Core Group of the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon-CEAMA joined together to organize an intercontinental pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City August 31- September 5, 2022.

Fifty-six pilgrims participated, moved by a shared devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe and a living commitment to foster a synodal, missionary Church. Pilgrims arrived from across the Amazon –Brazil, Bolivia, and Colombia– together with participants from 14 states in the US, including delegations from Los Angeles, Minnesota, Chicago, San Francisco, Ohio, South Bend, Washington, D.C. and Miami.

We intentionally created a space where each person’s voice could be received and where we could become bridge-builders: taking the time to offer interpretation, intentionally connecting across differences of language, culture, and personal histories while centering the voices of women whose lives and ministry incarnate both the wounds and the gifts of the people of God.

We were knit together through our individual, personal devotion to Santa Maria de Guadalupe, and found an expansiveness under her mantle where we experienced a church that seeks to enlarge the space in our tent through inculturation and dialogue.

Through lively celebrations of the Eucharist, synodal dialogue, communal discernment sessions, and day-long journeys to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and other sacred sites, pilgrims sought to live these core questions together:

  • What do the encounters between Our Lady of Guadalupe, Juan Diego, and the bishop reveal for how we are to walk on a synodal path together in the third millennium?

  • What is being revealed about women’s roles, leadership, and gifts for ministry for the Church today?

Today we share the fruits of these profound days of prayers in this synthesisWe offer it as a contribution, a humble but audacious effort to respond to the invitation of the Continental Stage to discern how the Church is being called by the Holy Spirit to rethink women’s participation, including for the ordained diaconate.

The movement and dance of the Mother of God draws near –the witness of those called from the peripheries to speak to the center and the moment we are in today in the journey to become a people, walking together, open to encounter and conversion, mercy and healing.

We give thanks for a felt sense of God alive in our midst and pray that each of us sense this presence in our hearts this Advent season.

¡Santa Maria, ven! 

Ellie & Casey

Ellie & Casey

Co-Directors of Discerning Deacons

Share this Article

Endorser
“It is time for our Church to acknowledge the role of countless women serving the people of God in positions of ministry and leadership.”
Endorser
“It is time for the Church to heed the Spirit’s voice, recognizing women’s call to the diaconate and allow the Spirit to restore and renew the Body of Christ so that it may fully live into its identity of missionary discipleship.”
M. Therese Lysaught, Ph.D., Theologian
Theologian, Doctor of Philosophy - Loyola University Chicago and the Pontifical Academy for Life (Chicago, IL/Madison, WI)
Witness
“I feel that the Catholic Church as it is structured is not what Jesus envisioned for his followers—so many of them were women of his day. What happened?”
Joan D. Martin
Ignatian Volunteer Corps Member, parishioner at New Roads Catholic Community in Belmont, MA

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