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Testigos
Stonehill College Campus Ministry
Easton, MA
May 6, 2024

Here at Stonehill College in Easton, MA we celebrated St. Phoebe with Mass in September 2023. Our celebration featured luminary bags honoring women of faith who have formed us, as well as the Mass including all female servers, lectors, cantors and hospitality ministers. A reflection after the homily was shared by a woman, all women in attendance were given a flower, and we offered the opportunity for a small group reflection after Mass.

It was especially meaningful for Mass attendees to be able to participate in creating a prayerful and reflective space by decorating the altar with flowers, displaying an image of St. Phoebe and placing luminary bags around the altar with the names of important and influential women from our lives. Everyone’s participation in creating the liturgical space truly symbolized how we all participate in the Church and our communities of faith.

Several young women shared how much the reflection resonated with them, and how glad they are to finally be having these conversations about women’s leadership within the Church, and specifically within the liturgy.

Our conversation together after Mass was beautiful and intimate. Together we shared about places where our full dignity as women has not always been honored in the Church, as well as the places of hope we have for the future. We will continue to create spaces for reflection to celebrate women of faith and uplift the witness and ministry of St. Phoebe. Together, through this experience, we created a community for this conversation and raised awareness of the tradition of female deacons in the early Church.

Together, we can be fearless. God moves in us, and God moved in St. Phoebe! It felt so freeing to honestly speak both our laments and hopes as women in the Church. If we do not use our voices, the Church will never change and grow to be what it can be for all of us.
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Organization
“We raised so much awareness from our event, of both the ongoing Synod and of St. Phoebe and her ministry. Together, we learned of the power of the intercession of St. Phoebe, and how significant her feast day can be to carry the message of women’s roles in the Church.”
The Church of St. Francis Xavier
New York, NY
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Organization
“The most meaningful parts of our celebration together included a standing ovation following the witness reflection, the power and strength of the reflection itself, and the procession at the start of mass. In the procession, young women carried in and presented symbols of St. Phoebe including an icon, the commission of St. Paul, a deacon’s stole and a pitcher of water to symbolize our shared baptism.”
Parroquia de San Bernabé
Chicago, IL
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Testigo
“Preaching on the Feast of St. Phoebe, and supporting and training other women to preach, was a joyful and invigorating experience. It is beautiful to see women claim the truth that they are called and gifted, and equally beautiful to see the People of God’s receptivity to women’s preaching, ministry, and leadership.”
Rhonda Miska
St. Phoebe Day Witness at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in St. Paul, MN; Founder and Co-convener of the Catholic Women's Preaching Circle; Catholic Women Preach Advisory Board Member

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