St. Phoebe Day Round-Up

On Sunday, September 3rd – the feast day of St. Phoebe – scores of women in ministry were received in the Lord as Catholic parishes welcomed them to share reflections or witness testimonies that highlighted the renewal of the diaconate for a synodal, missionary Church.

It was a day to recognize the many contributions women make to building up the Body of Christ; to raise awareness of and pray for the upcoming global Synod on Communion, Participation and Mission, which will take up rethinking women’s participation; and to discern at the local level if parishes might be ready to receive a woman deacon should the universal Church recommend this to Pope Francis.

We’re delighted to share with you this round up of links to reflections and testimonies from around the U.S.! Enjoy listening to the perspectives of women in ministry and clergy who took this opportunity to preach about St. Phoebe and the diaconal gifts of women for building up the reign of God and for bringing the light of Christ to those on the margins.

Kelly Meraw, Director of Pastoral Care, offers a reflection on the Word (starts at 26:45 minutes) at the St. John-St. Paul Collaborative in Boston.

St. Francis Seraph Church, Cincinnati welcomes Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Teresita Weind to preach for the feast day of St. Phoebe.

Immaculate Conception Church, Durham welcomes Barbara Pegg’s reflection at the Saturday evening Mass – preacher’s homily starts at 25:58reflection starts at 32:01.

Jeanne Bernacki’s reflection at IC morning Mass, Durham – preacher’s homily starts at 20:50reflection starts at 33:16.

Norma Castro’s reflection in Spanish at IC, Durham – preacher’s homily starts at 17:30reflection starts at 22:34.

Boston School of Theology invites student Brenda Noriega to offer a scripture reflection on St. Phoebe

St. Bernadette Church, Los Angeles welcomes Dr. Yolanda Brown to share a talk following Mass on the topic of Women in Ministry (view at 1:03:00).

Dolores Mission Church in East Los Angeles welcomes young adult women involved in youth ministry to offer their reflections – Gabriela Gordillo-Banuelos and Daniela Valdez in English (preacher homily begins at 20:00, reflection 22:15) and Daniela Valdez in Spanish (preacher homily begins at 19:30, reflection 22:55).

At St. Joseph Parish, Seattle, Theresa Lukasik, Director of Faith Formation, offers a scriptural reflection.

Our Lady of the Lake, Seattle welcomes Ann Radermacher to share her reflection.

St. Thomas More Church in St. Paul, features a video by Pastor Fr. R.J. Fichtinger and two witness testimonies by parishioners Jess Miller and Aaron Sinner.

Several clergy preached on St. Phoebe, including Fr. Bill Kelly of Holy Trinity Church, Washington, DC, Fr. John Whitney for St. Ignatius Church, San Francisco, and Deacon Mike Ellerbrock of Our Lady of Nazareth Church, Roanoke.

Additionally, Philomène Péan of Boston shares her life-long commitment to accompanying the people of God in NCR. And Phyllis Zagano, Sr. Donna Ciangio, Deacon Bill Ditewig and Ellie Hidalgo were interviewed by Newsday.

Our hearts are filled with gratitude for all the clergy, deacons and parishioners who received women’s testimonies in the Lord and who are contributing to the active discernment of our Church about women and the diaconate. Thank you for joining us in prayer as we seek the intercession of St. Phoebe for a synodal Church – that all of the people of God would be seen, heard, and invited to walk together to live the mission of the Gospel.

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Ellie & Casey

St. Phoebe Day 2023 - Photo Gallery

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“This was such a great learning experience for all of us, and even more so, a chance to build momentum and connection.”
St. Basil's Catholic Parish
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
“We are proud to stand on the shoulders of the many women who have ministered to the people of God throughout time!”
Holy Name of Jesus Parish
New Orleans, LA
“Learning about the history of women in the diaconate gave context to efforts to enable women’s participation in the diaconate today, and it was powerful to celebrate St. Phoebe and uplift the ministry of women in our own community.”
St. John Fisher Parish
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

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