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Witnesses
St. Thomas More Catholic Community
St. Paul, Minnesota
May 1, 2024
Photo by Brennan Hall

At St. Thomas More Catholic Church in St. Paul, Minnesota we celebrated St. Phoebe with Mass in her honor during the weekend of September 16th and 17th, 2023. The image of St. Phoebe by Laura James was displayed at the front of the Church, and a reflection from parishioner Rhonda Miska was presented at each Mass throughout the weekend. St. Phoebe and the ongoing Synod was mentioned throughout each of the Masses. After Mass, St. Phoebe prayer cards, coloring sheets and mazes were available for children of the parish. We also created a space for parishioners to share in conversation with one another about the role of women in the Church.

It was so powerful to watch little girls color St. Phoebe coloring pages after mass and to see the procession of women at the start of the mass along with our priest celebrant. Additionally, we shared videos on the St. Thomas More Youtube channel about women’s participation in the Church that were well received by the parish.

Many had never heard of St. Phoebe, and they were engaged and excited to learn more. Many took prayer cards after Mass and were excited to see the many different images of St. Phoebe that we had. This was definitely a new experience for all who were involved in planning our celebration—there is value, risk and vulnerability in public witness! We are grateful to accompany one another on this journey.

All photos by Brennan Hall. 

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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