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Testigos
Our Lady of the Lake
Seattle, WA
March 26, 2024

 

At Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Seattle, WA we were glad to uplift the voices of women in our parish and celebrate the feast day of St. Phoebe with masses on September 2nd and 3rd, 2023. In addition to the Masses, we had a coffee hour for women in the parish, and a parish listening session regarding the role of women in the Church. 

During mass, a female parishioner courageously broke open the Scriptures for us, our community presented three gifts to the icon of St. Phoebe in front of the altar. Three generations from one family (a grandmother, mother and a young daughter) individually brought forth a cross, a scroll and an angel statue while a lector read the intention and meaning behind each object. Our community, represented by three generations of women, demonstrated our commitment to the witness of St. Phoebe in a visible and concrete way.

Our all-female choir and musicians provided powerful and reflective music for the liturgy. The hymn “A Place at the Table”  (music by Lori True and text by Shirley Erena Murray) was sung during the presentation of the gifts, with the final verse sung by the youngest members of the choir. The young girls sang with so much pride; many in the congregation were brought to tears seeing the representatives of the future women of the Church singing with joy and strength.  

Our celebrant was uplifting throughout the celebration. At the end of the Mass, he shared the impact of the presence of women throughout the gospels, and examples of women’s influence in his own formation and ministry. We are deeply impacted by our experience of sharing the witness of St. Phoebe, and excited to continue to uplift the ministry of women in our own parish and in the Church broadly. We hope to continue to have women share reflections during Mass with our community and continue to build the energy created by our celebration together. 

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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