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Witnesses
Mary Ellen Thomas
Retired Hospice RN, Columbus, OH
April 4, 2024

“[If my parish had women deacons,] the gifts of women would serve to further enrich the vision and ministry of the parish. I served for seven years as a Pastoral Associate. My area of service grew more limited during that time. I had preached at Liturgy and had more classes in Homiletics than the male priests of our Diocese, but my preaching responsibility was stopped due to ‘fear’ of the hierarchy of that time. My role became more limited. As I was leaving the staff, one of the priests told me that he thought that ‘you were able to reach some of our community in a way that the priests could not.’ It is very sad to think that the Church has to date chosen an all male priesthood with more limited numbers that has resulted in parishes closing and more people leaving the Church. We don’t have a shortage of priests as much as we have a shortage of listening to the Holy Spirit. Jesus has told us not to be afraid. I think we very much need the courage of women, who bring unique gifts and vision to the service of the people and the Church.”

Loving God, you have made each person as a unique reflection of you. Give us the faith and courage to include all in the call to Ordination.

Endorser
“I have worked alongside many lay and religious women in my ministry who have exhibited outstanding ability for ministry.  Many have taught me by their example how to be a more effective minister, and by their instruction, helped me to grow in this role…It’s time that the Church gets in step with society and recognizes the equality of women in the workplace.  Women are as capable as men in the work of ministry, and have demonstrated the same equality in scholarship, skills and education as men.”
Fr. Joseph A. Genito, O.S.A
Pastor, St. Thomas of Villanova Parish, Philadelphia, PA
Witness
“If there were women deacons in my parish, lay women would relate in a deep and meaningful way to deacons who look, act, speak and feel more like themselves…Though I am an unlikely choice to wear the alb and stole, I have a deep commitment to service in Christ’s name and I try to live it every day. Any need that arises, I am ready to shoulder it, though some needs of our sisters and brothers would be well- or better-served by a woman’s different compassion.”
Deacon Bill Zapcic
Parish Deacon and Homilist, Retired Journalist, Tinton Falls, NJ
Endorser
“Not only is ordaining women as deacons a restoration of the dynamism of the early Church, it is a matter of justice!”
Fr. Stephen P Newton, CSC
Executive Director, Association of US Catholic Priests, Notre Dame, IN

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