Celebrate the Year of St. Phoebe

Will your community join Discerning Deacons in September 2023 as we pray for the synod, celebrate women’s gifts, and bear witness to the critical and urgent need to re-think women’s participation in the Church?

Catholic parishes and other institutions are invited to join Discerning Deacons in prayer for our universal Church as we journey together in synod on the Feast of St. Phoebe in September 2023. During the local listening stage of the Synod on Participation, Communion, and Mission, the issue of re-thinking women’s participation in the Church emerged across every continent as both critical and urgent (cf. para. 60, “Enlarge the Space of Your Tent”). On or near September 3, 2023, parishes and other Catholic institutions will bear witness to their readiness to receive women’s gifts more fully by hosting a Phoebe Day celebration that includes a woman preaching or offering a witness testimony and looks ahead to the gathering of the global synod in October 2023

Register your Feast of St. Phoebe Celebration

Commit your parish or Catholic institution to praying for our synodal Church and celebrating women's gifts on or near 9/3/23.

Register your Feast of St. Phoebe Celebration

Commit your parish or Catholic institution to praying for our synodal Church and celebrating women's gifts on or near 9/3/23.

Start Your Journey

Just getting started with Discerning Deacons? Here are some steps you can take right now to jumpstart your journey to Phoebe Day 2023.

New to Discerning Deacons? Curious how you can get involved in the movement to grow the conversation about re-thinking women’s roles in a synodal Church, including possibly as deacons?

Drop in for a welcome call to learn about Discerning Deacons, to connect with others across the country and world, and to get up to speed on the most current opportunities to step into your protagonism in the Church.

Welcome calls are generally offered on the third Tuesday of each month at 8 p.m. and last about 45 minutes.

Find an upcoming welcome call.

Discerning Deacons se inserta en una larga tradición de renovación de la Iglesia mientras nos atrevemos a imaginar juntos la diferencia que las mujeres diáconos aportarían a nuestra Iglesia.

Su inversión y apoyo monetario ayudarán a impulsar nuestro trabajo para involucrar a los líderes en las instituciones católicas y en los puestos de toma de decisiones para que podamos encarnar más plenamente la visión de una Iglesia que escucha y participa, que discierne y camina junta.

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At Discerning Deacons we lift up the stories of women serving in ministry today who are ready to be received as deacons in the Church. We also invite all Catholics to share prayers and hopes for our Church’s discernment, as we seek to bear collective witness to the movement of the Holy Spirit.

Share your witness.

Interested in learning more about the history of women and the diaconate in the Catholic Church? On our resource page, you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions, educational webinars, studies, and other free resources we’ve compiled.

Explore educational resources.


“I find in Discerning Deacons a genuine understanding of and commitment to the process of discernment. When we approach important and sometimes difficult questions in this spirit, it sheds light on the entire mystery of the Church and opens to us unexpected pathways. I would encourage all who love the Church to engage in this process.”

Plan Your Phoebe Day Celebration

Will your parish or institution make a joyful noise next September as the Church re-thinks women’s participation in synod? Here’s how you can prepare for your Phoebe Day celebration.

Got Phoebe Day on your parish calendar? Don’t forget to register your celebration with Discerning Deacons. When you register, you’ll get access to our most up-to-date offerings to support your Phoebe Day planning efforts, as well as free Phoebe Day swag to help share the good news in your community.

Register your celebration.

Coming soon! Download your Phoebe Day Toolkit to help you plan your celebration.

Register for trainings.

Are you a woman who is planning to preach or offer a witness testimony at your parish or institution on Phoebe Day? Save the date for one of our four preacher huddles, offered throughout the summer.

Find a preacher huddle.
"As a black Catholic woman with a call to preach, I have never felt a more urgent need for voices like mine in our Church and in our country to be able to be heard, and to have the voice of women during the time we come together as a community weekly to praise, worship and hear God moving in all of our lives."
Kayla August
Doctoral Student, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Prepare the Ground

Becoming a synodal church is about journeying together. How will you journey together with your community in the months leading up to Phoebe Day? Here are some ways to prepare the ground.

The Vatican calls all of us by virtue of our Baptisms at every level of the Church to collective discernment on issues that matter to the People of God around the planet, including re-thinking women’s participation in the Church.

We are called to enlarge the space of our tents by discerning where we are trying to move together as disciples of Christ. All of us are invited to ponder three questions that can spark prayerful discernment on the themes of “Enlarge the Space of Your Tent”: What resonates and illuminates?; Where are the tensions and what questions do they raise?; Who is called to act and how?

Access our resource guide for planning and hosting a discernment session on women in “Enlarge the Space of Your Tent” to bring your community along on the Church’s synodal journey.

Get the guide.

Explore Discerning Deacons’ events calendar and subscribe to our newsletter to stay abreast of upcoming opportunities for learning, prayer, and discernment leading up to Phoebe Day. Many of these events make great additions to parish bulletins, newsletters, and social media feeds.

Explore events y subscribe to our newsletter.

Are you hosting an event to prepare the ground for Phoebe Day in your parish or community? Let us know about your event by registering it with us at Discerning Deacons! You’ll also have the opportunity to let us know if you wish for your event to be shared in our newsletter or public events calendar.

Register your “Preparing the Ground” event.

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