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Witnesses
Katherine Novinski
Educator, Denver, Colorado
January 18, 2022

“Research shows that organizations are stronger when they have leadership that reflects the diversity of the employees and communities they serve – teams that are diverse across lines of race, ethnicity, gender, income, and experience have been shown to operate more effectively. The fact that women cannot currently serve as deacons leaves women’s voices out of decision making structures in many parishes and the larger institutional church. Most importantly, we miss the perspective of women when we listen to homilies each Sunday. My hope is that if I have daughters in the future, that my daughters can identify with a female deacon who is preaching at Sunday Mass and see themselves in that role; and that if I have sons, my sons can learn from the female perspective at Mass, not just the male perspective. 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.”

As Catholic Women Preach has shown, we are missing a valuable perspective each Sunday at Mass when women are not able to preach. Having women deacons will create stronger parishes and could bring people back to the Church who have left, if they feel like their voice and perspective is now valued. It will create stronger faith communities in the long-term, as it means that we are valuing all members of the community for their contributions and not elevating the role of male over female, perpetuating inequality. We still have to fight for the full inclusion of women in ministry in our Church, but I see women serving as deacons as the first step in that fight.”

Katherine Novinski is an Educator in Denver, Colorado

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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