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Witnesses
St. Therese Parish
Seattle, WA
May 1, 2024
Rose Hesselbrock and Victoria Ries, two members of the St. Phoebe Day planning team at St. Therese.

Here at St. Therese Parish in Seattle, Washington we uplifted the witness of St. Phoebe during the weekend of September 10, 2023 at our parish Masses. Our liturgy featured hymns highlighting St. Phoebe, a reflection offered by a lay woman, a discussion about St. Phoebe and the ongoing Synod the week before and prayer cards and other informational materials available at the social hour after Mass.

Parishioners responded enthusiastically to our celebration! One parishioner shared her hope that, “Now my daughters can envision an active role for themselves in the future because they saw you share your reflection.” Prior to our celebration together, many parishioners were not familiar with St. Phoebe and her witness and ministry. We hope that we can continue the momentum that we started with our celebration and continue the conversation regarding women’s participation in the Church.

In preparing for our celebration, those involved in planning were able to demonstrate how change within the Church does not need to be cause for division, but rather can bring our community together. The Church has experienced change before; we should not fear! We will continue on this journey alongside one another.

Rose Hesselbrock offers a Gospel reflection, speaking from St. Phoebe’s perspective.
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

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