Third day of every month of the Year of St. Phoebe at 7 pm ET (time may vary)

St. Phoebe Prayer for a Synodal Church ‖ Monthly Prayer Service

PRESENTED BY: Discerning Deacons

As part of the Year of St. Phoebe we invite everyone to join together as the Discerning Deacons community on the 3rd of every month at 7 pm* ET.

We will gather to pray for a synodal Church, receive the gifts of women for preaching, and challenge one another to go out to love and serve our neighbor. 

"St. Phoebe is one of the remarkable hidden female figures in our Catholic tradition whom we are excavating once again for our times. We need St. Phoebe to guide us. We need her intercession. We need to remember her courage.”
Ellie Hidalgo
The leadership of each month’s service will rotate, starting with the Discerning Deacons team who led the October 2022 service.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Oct, Nov & Dec, 2022 services!!
On October 3rdEllie offered a powerful reflection, please follow this link to watch. Click here for her written reflection.

In November, the DD Boston team led us as we prayed for women who have experienced violence, follow this link to read Boston College grad student Arumi Ortiz’ written reflection

The Women and Ministeriality Thematic Core Group of the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon-CEAMA led a beautiful service on December 3rd, where Brazilian missionary Sr. Ivoneide Viana de Queiroz prepared us for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12 by reflecting on the solidarity, missionary outreach and prophecy of women, follow this link to read her reflection.

Rhonda Miska

At the January 3rd, 2023 service, Rhonda Miska preached about the Epiphany, and other ministerial leaders from the region of St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota reflected on the meaning and intersectionality of three stories: the story of the three magi who journey to encounter the Christ Child; the story of St. Phoebe, who journeyed from her home in Cenchrea to encounter the early Christian communities in Rome; and the story of our synodal journey in our present day Church in which wise and holy women come bearing gifts to a church in need of renewal. You may access Rhonda’s preaching along with video clips of the service here.

In February, we were led joyfully and reverently by the South Bend DD circle – who issued a simple invitation to all of us, to turn to our own neighbors and the diaconal women we know, and come together in times of shared prayer & fellowship. During the Service, Felicia Johnson O’Brien preached on Matthew 5:13-16 and Karen Schneider-Kirner (Assistant Director Emeritus of Notre Dame’s University Folks Choir) debuted a new hymn she composed entitled “God of the Women,” accompanied by a beautiful array of images of the salt & light of women’s ministry! You may read Felicia’s reflection and view clips of the service here.

Our March prayer service was led by the Philadelphia Discerning Deacons Circle on the Lenten theme of Jesus’ Transfiguration and our own synodal transformation that seeks to center people on the peripheries and margins. St. Vincent De Paul parishioner Dorina Pena reflected on how we can take the messiness of our lives up God’s transformation mountain. Anna Ryan-Bender of Chestnut Hill College guided participants in a visio divina with the image “From Fragmentation to Wholeness” by artist Becky McIntyre

“Stations of the Cross” by Used with permission.
“Stations of the Cross from the View of Women Along the Way”

On April 3rd, for our Holy Week prayer service, the Chicago Discerning Deacon Circle led us in a “Stations of the Cross from the View of Women Along the Way.”

Their reflections guided us in a prayerful meditation on women’s faithful witness to Christ’s ministry, death and resurrection and invited us to recognize the ways we ourselves accompany Jesus along the road.

We were grateful to share the reflection written by Mary Freeman for the 10th Station in our Holy Week newsletter.

Read Mary’s reflection here or watch the full service by following this link.

The Continental Deacon Circle
“Go and Tell” 

On May 3rd, the Continental Deacon Circle noted how God chooses women for important work. During the prayer service, the CDC presented a newly commissioned image of Deacon Saint Phoebe created by Brother Mickey McGrath. Follow this link to view this wise and determined Phoebe and to read Teresa Runyon’s reflection (featured in our May 10 issue of “The Witness”.

The Continental Deacon Circle is comprised of: Jill (MT), Margie (CA), Barbara (NV), Svea (MA), Peggy (NY), Anne (CA), Peggy (KS), Diane (BC, Canada), Elizabeth (CO), Shannon (NY), Rose (CA) and Teresa (CA).

Women Witnesses to Christ

Lifting up the powerful witness of women who have come before us, we bear witness now to the work of the Spirit among women today.

Please join the Canada Deacon Circle for the June 3rd St. Phoebe Prayer for a Synodal Church. Together we will seek the intercession of St. Phoebe, along with women saints of North America, as we honor women’s contributions as ministers and leaders for many generations, and pray for our global Church as we celebrate women’s participation in the synodal process.

*Start times may vary depending on the team leading the service. 
Note: we are not planning to record these services to make public, though we may share the prepared reflections.

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