Share
Witnesses
St. Francis Xavier Church
La Grange, IL
May 1, 2024

St. Francis Xavier Church in La Grange, IL celebrated St. Phoebe on September 9th and 10th. The entire weekend was made special by having each member of the congregation wear a name tag and offering hospitality after all of the Masses. Our Discerning Deacons team planned all aspects of the liturgies (petitions, music, etc.) to reflect our intention to uplift and show gratitude for the long history of women’s leadership in our parish.  Women witnesses shared a reflection at each of the five Masses. During the homily, the priest celebrant shared background information about the witness and ministry of St. Phoebe and introduced the reflector.

After Mass, parishioners were invited to pick up information and to ask questions.  They were also encouraged to highlight women in their lives who had influenced their faith by writing an individual name onto a yellow paper flame and placing the flame into a basket.


Throughout the Masses, many parishioners simply could not stop smiling! We were in awe at the ways that five different women could break open the scriptures in unique ways and do an amazing job. The Spirit was evident after Mass as parishioners shared and listened to and with one another.

We are so excited about this time and the possibility of expanding the role of women in the Church. In our community, many were learning about St. Phoebe’s witness and ministry for the very first time. Overall, our celebration made us aware of the Synod’s mission to actively attend to the Spirit in the world today.

St. Phoebe reflected the courage and perseverance that we all hope to embody on this journey. We will need her intercession and example to speak fearlessly and to truly attend to the participation and witness of all. We must keep listening! We have been told that we do not have to wait for the Church we want to see. Our St. Phoebe celebration was a true example of that.

Organization
“We raised so much awareness from our event, of both the ongoing Synod and of St. Phoebe and her ministry. Together, we learned of the power of the intercession of St. Phoebe, and how significant her feast day can be to carry the message of women’s roles in the Church.”
The Church of St. Francis Xavier
New York, NY
Organization
“The most meaningful parts of our celebration together included a standing ovation following the witness reflection, the power and strength of the reflection itself, and the procession at the start of mass. In the procession, young women carried in and presented symbols of St. Phoebe including an icon, the commission of St. Paul, a deacon’s stole and a pitcher of water to symbolize our shared baptism.”
St. Barnabas Parish
Chicago, IL
Witness
“Preaching on the Feast of St. Phoebe, and supporting and training other women to preach, was a joyful and invigorating experience. It is beautiful to see women claim the truth that they are called and gifted, and equally beautiful to see the People of God’s receptivity to women’s preaching, ministry, and leadership.”
Rhonda Miska
St. Phoebe Day Witness at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in St. Paul, MN; Founder and Co-convener of the Catholic Women's Preaching Circle; Catholic Women Preach Advisory Board Member

Receive Our Newsletter

This is the hub where we share relevant news, events and opportunities to participate in the work. 
*We will send the newsletter only once each week, and we will never share or sell your information.

Receive Our Newsletter

This is the hub where we share relevant news, events and opportunities to participate in the work. 
*We will send the newsletter only once each week, and we will never share or sell your information.