The holy witnesses of Martha, Mary, Mary Magdalene & the Syrophoenician woman

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Greetings during these weeks of summer. I hope they provide opportunities for you to enjoy parks, swimming pools, beaches or mountains, to reconnect with family and friends, or to engage in a fun hobby awaiting your slower pace.

We had hoped to be sharing our synthesis report this week and apologize for its delay as a member of our design team needed to tend to the health emergencies of relatives. Thanks for your prayers for needed healing. We are using this time to translate the synthesis into Spanish and hope to share both the English and Spanish versions soon.

About this week’s newsletter

Sunday’s Gospel reading highlighted the sisterly quarrel between Martha and Mary over “diakonia” – service. It’s an interesting and multi-layered text to contemplate, and in our preaching section below we feature a couple of reflections from Dr. Susan McGurgan on Catholic Women Preach and myself in U.S. Catholic (posted below). 

This week our Church celebrates the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, and I invite you to join me in pondering how the holy witness of Martha, Mary, Mary Magdalene and the Syrophoenician woman continue to ripple out and influence our own times as we discern the Holy Spirit’s call today.

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“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
“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
“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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