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Witnesses
Fr. Michael Hickin
July 26, 2021

‘A different prism through which to meet and marvel at the truth of Jesus’

When I think of the difference it would make to ordain women as deacons, a mother who recently lost a teenage son to suicide immediately comes to mind. The women I know who’d make good candidates for the diaconate are marked by an abundant wellspring of compassion. They belong to a different and faster moving communications loop. Their embodiment of the Word warrants a sacramental presence, as witnessed in the nascent Church.

An old adage – “whatever is received is received according to the mode of the receiver” (quidquid recipitur ad modum recipientis recipitur) – finds fresh application here. To encounter a woman deacon would offer the world a different prism through which to meet and marvel at the truth of Jesus. The beauty of Catholicism deserves to reflect his bold collaboration with women.

I just met Discerning Deacons in Minneapolis last week at the AUSCP national annual assembly. I am struck by how ecclesial they are. They’re ardent, joyful searchers. They’ve done and keep doing their homework. They walk with the Church while challenging her to build new on old foundations. They’re professional and prayerful. I encourage anyone with questions or aspirations to find their website, engage their community and enter the discernment.

If I had 30 seconds with Pope Francis, I’d say of women in the diaconate, “I can already see their virtue and hear their voices in our churches and in our streets.Please, Holy Father, keep opening the door and release this song. The formation of future disciples needs this feminine energy. The time has come for women to channel Gospel wisdom in a more authoritative way, blessed and sanctioned by the Church. “Do not be afraid! Just have faith,” as Jesus said to the synagogue/Vatican official in today’s Gospel, (Mark 5;36). The female diaconate “is not dead, only asleep…. Talitha koum!” (Mark 5:39)

Fr. Michael Hickin is the pastor of three parishes in Cavalier County, North Dakota, in the Diocese of Fargo, and a member of the leadership team of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests.

Do you have a prayer, a hope, or a story to share?

We aim to ground our project in prayer, in learning, and in encounters. We also want to invite everyone to discern how they might participate in this active discernment. 

One way is to bear witness, to share aloud what we have seen and heard. 

If you are feeling moved to share a story about your own vocational journey, or if you want to name aloud a prayer or hope for the Church, we invite you to consider sharing that here on our website. Someone from our welcome team will follow up with you before it is posted! 

Endorser
“What a blessing it would be to see women … preaching the Good News from the pulpit and feeding God’s people at the Eucharist table as an Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion.”
Frank "Jay" Vocelka, OblSB
Retired Deacon from Fulltime Parish Ministry (Diocese of Austin)
Witness
“My hope is that young girls will not be reminded on a weekly basis of how they are excluded from Catholic Mass and that young boys will not be reminded on a weekly basis of how they are empowered above women through the current Catholic institutional structures.”
Katherine Novinski
Educator, Denver, Colorado
Witness
“Our Church needs women to be fully alive and active in and through her. I hope I see women welcomed to enter and live the diaconate in our Catholic Church in my lifetime. I would sign up yesterday.”
Louise Beggs
Small Faith Group Pastoral Minister, Ottawa, Canada

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