Initial Response to the Instrumentum Laboris

July 10, 2024 My son, Teddy, turned ten yesterday. We celebrated with ice cream sundaes and a family game night. We reviewed old photos and videos. Now that Oscar Francis (8 months old already!) is crawling all over, I can appreciate in a whole new light the lightning pace of growth and development that a […]

(Still) dreaming dreams about the diaconate

“Dear Pope Franc[i]s, I [would] like for [deacons] to be [able] to have women [deacons] because women can have new [ideas] and different [perspectives]. Also it will be closer to the [parousia]. There are more [reasons] but those are some of [mine]. From Lucy, age 8 and a half.”

A few months ago I authored a reflection titled, “The Pope is “…very much in favor of a female diaconate.” So imagine my surprise (shock/sadness/anger) as I watched Pope Francis seem to undermine his own synodal process when he indicated in an interview with 60 Minutes reporter Norah O’Donnell – that “no” a girl cannot dream […]

The Pope is “…very much in favor of the female diaconate”

You read it correctly! Pope Francis, according to Sr. Linda Pocher, is “very much in favor of the female diaconate.” Last week Pope Francis sought counsel from three wise women: Sr. Linda Pocher, a theologian and expert on Marian-Petrine matters; Giuliva Di Berardino, a liturgist, educator, and consecrated virgin from Italy; and Rev. Jo Bailey […]

Baptism anoints us with the power to do good

This week we celebrated the Baptism of the Lord, the first of the Luminous Mysteries. I contemplate this mystery, turning it over in my mind as the beads twirl in my hand: What difference does Jesus’ baptism make? This moment when God anoints “Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.” (Acts 10:38) It’s the beginning of Jesus’ […]

Sharing the overflow

As we wrap up a month-long celebration of St. Phoebe there’s a distinct feeling of “the overflow“–an expression Pope Francis uses to describe the experience of grace when a way, at last appears, often after a season of patient waiting. Our hope was to stoke the flames of devotion to St. Phoebe and awareness of […]

Phoebe, Mother of Preachers

Barbara Pegg, a lay Dominican, shared this image and title of Phoebe with the circle of women preparing to reflect on the Word at my home parish in Durham, NC this weekend. It brings to mind the many women preachers I have known – Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, non-denominational, United Methodist, Pentecostal, AME – I […]

St. Phoebe’s Swirling Energy

The week of the Opening Mass for the Synod in Rome back in October 2021, Ellie and I found ourselves in an educational meeting with a member of the Dicastery for Divine Worship. We were curious to understand what the path might look like for St. Phoebe to be restored in our calendar of saints, which would […]

The Good News continues on the Synodal Path!

As many of you have heard – the working document for the global synod called the Instrumentum Laboris was published three weeks ago. We have been overjoyed with the extraordinary good news – that the state of the question of women’s roles in the Church was indeed named as one of the priority themes to […]

Witnessing a Missionary Synodal Church in the Amazon

Responsorial Psalm: The Lord hears the cry of the poor (Psalm 34:7) Two weeks ago the Instrumentum Laboris–the document that will guide the Church in the next phase of the global synod–was released in Rome and shared with the world.  I was driving in a truck in Rondônia out of Porto Velho, Brazil on our […]

On the Feast of the Visitation and the Eve of a Papal Visit

Greetings on this Feast of the Visitation! Today seems like a fitting one to share good news with you friends, pilgrims, and fellow discerning deacons…I’m expecting! In our household, this is a source of tremendous delight and anticipation. My about-to-turn 11 and 9 year-old keep track of the baby’s developments, and they eagerly await the […]

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