DD making waves at Religious Education Congress!

Friends and colleagues drop by the DD booth at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.

Friends and colleagues drop by the DD booth at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.

March 30, 2022

Discerning Deacons recently hosted a booth at the annual Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. This year’s annual conference drew about 5,000 in-person participants, much fewer than in years past, but a good start to re-imagining an in-person conference since the pandemic began.

A special thank you to Rosa Bonilla, Yolanda Brown, Anne Hansen, and Lori Stanley for joining me to staff the booth March 18-20. We spoke with scores of people – friends, colleagues, deacons, wives of deacons, priests, novices, religious, lay women and men, even a bishop. Many were eager to talk with us about the Church’s current discernment around women and the diaconate, and many were new to the conversation. The energy was palpable as we engaged in spontaneous conversations and diverse encounters over three days.

We gave out hundreds of postcards of the image of St. Phoebe created by Laura James. We shared written materials like our primer on the Catholic Church’s discernment of women and the diaconate; the in-depth interview study of U.S. Catholic women, Called to Contribute; the Gathering the Fruits synthesis report from our 2021 spring and summer parish and house meetings which we delivered to Rome last fall; and our current work to contribute to the global synod process. We subscribed many new people to our newsletter – Welcome!

We promoted a new book by Phyllis Zagano and published by Paulist Press, Women Religious, Women Deacons: Questions and Answers, as well as the St. Phoebe note cards carried by Cards by Anne.

Looking ahead, we invite you to register for “An Evening Service of Lament for Holy Week” taking place Tuesday, April 12 at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PST. More information below.

And save the dates for our Discerning Deacons National Synod Consultations taking place Wednesday, May 11, from 12-3 pm ET and Sunday May 15, from 3-6 pm ET.

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“Our St. Phoebe Day celebration was a Catholic mass at its best—coming together, unified at the Eucharistic table, getting nourished through meaningful ritual, prayerful and relevant songs, a challenging message on synodality from scripture, and engaging and honest testimonies from two women in our community. St. Joan of Arc parish today did what Jesus did years ago—fed souls and gave people hope.”
St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community
Minneapolis, MN
“Together, we are grateful that the ministry and example of St. Phoebe enlivens our community to participate in exploring the unique gifts of women in our faith community. Here at Cranaleith, we feel strongly about creating space for all those seeking wholeness and transformation for themselves, their communities and society. This retreat was an opportunity for us to do just that.”
Cranaleith Spiritual Center
Philadelphia, PA
“The icon of St. Phoebe is still present in our Chapel today, where we are able to remember her witness and ask her to intercede on our behalf.”
Rosemont College
Rosemont, PA

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