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Testigos
Church of the Good Shepherd/Immaculate Conception
Schertz and Marion, TX
March 26, 2024

At Church of the Good Shepherd/Immaculate Conception Parish in Schertz and Marion, TX, we honored the feast St. Phoebe on September 3, 2023, by distributing St. Phoebe prayer cards, and listening to an incredible homily from our pastor, Fr. Octavio Muguerza, that weaved together scripture with the story of St. Phoebe and the possibility of women’s ordination to the diaconate. He explained the witness of St. Phoebe and how many male saints had a female counterpart which complemented and strengthened their ministry. These saints together provide us an example of partnership and shared ministry that can help us rethink women’s participation today!  Together, we prayed for the Synod and our shared journey of discernment. There was also a presentation after Communion about more specifics regarding the synodal process and the discernment for the ordination of women to the diaconate. 

As a parish, we are exploring the potential of maintaining a “Phoebe ministry” as a permanent ministry in our parish to continue this prayer and conversation! Since our celebration, we have developed a mission statement for our parish’s new St. Phoebe Ministry and held a parish synodal listening session on October 5, 2023. We know that the synodal process is a gift for us to discern, pray and discuss the possibility of a diaconate that includes both men and women, and more active involvement for women in the Church. Our St. Phoebe celebration was just the beginning of what is to come.

Promotor
“I have worked alongside many lay and religious women in my ministry who have exhibited outstanding ability for ministry.  Many have taught me by their example how to be a more effective minister, and by their instruction, helped me to grow in this role…It’s time that the Church gets in step with society and recognizes the equality of women in the workplace.  Women are as capable as men in the work of ministry, and have demonstrated the same equality in scholarship, skills and education as men.”
Fr. Joseph A. Genito, O.S.A
Pastor, St. Thomas of Villanova Parish, Philadelphia, PA
Testigo
“If there were women deacons in my parish, lay women would relate in a deep and meaningful way to deacons who look, act, speak and feel more like themselves…Though I am an unlikely choice to wear the alb and stole, I have a deep commitment to service in Christ’s name and I try to live it every day. Any need that arises, I am ready to shoulder it, though some needs of our sisters and brothers would be well- or better-served by a woman’s different compassion.”
Deacon Bill Zapcic
Parish Deacon and Homilist, Retired Journalist, Tinton Falls, NJ
Promotor
“Not only is ordaining women as deacons a restoration of the dynamism of the early Church, it is a matter of justice!”
Fr. Stephen P Newton, CSC
Executive Director, Association of US Catholic Priests, Notre Dame, IN

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