“I watch women…claim their call to preach with more confidence and love.”

An interview with Rhonda Miska Rhonda Miska strives to live out her vocational call to preach. She serves at the Church of St. Timothy in Blaine, Minnesota, is a member of the Catholic Women Preach Advisory Board, and is the founder and co-convener of the Catholic Women’s Preaching Circle. Rhonda holds a MA in Pastoral […]

Study Groups an Encouraging Step on the Synodal Path

DD Public Statement The Vatican recently announced that a group will be formed to study ministerial roles. Some headlines would lead us to believe that the question of ordaining women to the diaconate is once again being kicked down the road to be resolved some other time or never.  However, we at Discerning Deacons recognize […]

“The diaconate would give me more liberty and tranquility to serve God’s people”

A woman marks the forehead of another person with ashes while others wait in line to receive ashes.

An interview with Rosa Bonilla As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we want to inaugurate including more stories of women who serve in ministry in our Catholic churches and institutions. Today, we’re featuring an interview with Rosa Bonilla, pastoral assistant since 2012 at Dolores Mission Church in Boyle Heights-East Los Angeles. Active in the parish […]

Can a church do without deacons?

During the first session of the Synod on Synodality, I happened to be the only Roman Catholic permanent deacon. I was told several times by some of the bishops present: “We do not need deacons, because we still have enough priestly vocations”. A recognizable reaction perhaps, but at the same time too short-sighted. It makes […]

Pope Francis, Sister Thea Bowman and Dr. Cynthia Bailey Manns

I continue to be humbled by and grateful for Pope Francis’ appointment to participate in the Synod on Synodality in October 2023 and 2024. I expected an incredible, life changing experience and that is the gift I received. I spent September 28th thru October 30th in Rome as one of fifty-four women delegates, who for […]

Advent’s active waiting  

Advent is a season of waiting. In our everyday lives, we wait for many things, both mundane and profound. We wait for the bus, we wait for the sunrise, we wait for test results. We wait for things to begin and things to end. For 9 months, we wait for children to be born. We […]

Guide Our Feet in the Way of Peace: Synodality as Peacebuilding

This morning, I attended the synod’s closing Mass here in Rome, where I was reminded of the view from the opening Mass, which I attended with Discerning Deacons’ young adult pilgrims. Doves circled above St. Peter’s Basilica—a symbol of the Holy Spirit and of peace that has lingered with me throughout the month accompanying the […]

On the Side of the Synod from Rural Australia

Men and women walking and praying through a field

I’m writing from Rome, where I’ve been since the end of September and where there is a buzz of anticipation in the air as the final days of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops progress. This past Wednesday, the Assembly released a letter to the People of God that expressed the hope that […]

Contributing to our global Church as synod ambassadors

What a blessed pilgrimage we are having here in Rome! It’s been an extraordinary, grace-filled week. Discerning Deacons hosted a synodal discernment at the Lasallian Generalate with college students from Fordham University, the College of St. Benedict and the University of Notre Dame on Monday, October 16. A team of six of us, headed by […]

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