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Witnesses
Church of the Good Shepherd/Immaculate Conception
Schertz and Marion, TX
March 26, 2024

At Church of the Good Shepherd/Immaculate Conception Parish in Schertz and Marion, TX, we honored the feast St. Phoebe on September 3, 2023, by distributing St. Phoebe prayer cards, and listening to an incredible homily from our pastor, Fr. Octavio Muguerza, that weaved together scripture with the story of St. Phoebe and the possibility of women’s ordination to the diaconate. He explained the witness of St. Phoebe and how many male saints had a female counterpart which complemented and strengthened their ministry. These saints together provide us an example of partnership and shared ministry that can help us rethink women’s participation today!  Together, we prayed for the Synod and our shared journey of discernment. There was also a presentation after Communion about more specifics regarding the synodal process and the discernment for the ordination of women to the diaconate. 

As a parish, we are exploring the potential of maintaining a “Phoebe ministry” as a permanent ministry in our parish to continue this prayer and conversation! Since our celebration, we have developed a mission statement for our parish’s new St. Phoebe Ministry and held a parish synodal listening session on October 5, 2023. We know that the synodal process is a gift for us to discern, pray and discuss the possibility of a diaconate that includes both men and women, and more active involvement for women in the Church. Our St. Phoebe celebration was just the beginning of what is to come.

Organization
“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
Organization
“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
Organization
“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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