Witnesses

You will be my witnesses.”

(Acts 1:8)

The preparatory process for the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon involved 87,000 people bearing witness to their laments, hopes and dreams for their communities and the Church they love.

At the synod in Rome, bishops repeatedly affirmed that women are already doing the work of deacons in the region, and they asked that this ministry be seen and recognized.

The Synod formally requested to share their “experiences and reflections” with a papal commission on women and the diaconate, and Pope Francis immediately responded, saying:

“I pick up the challenge. A glove has been thrown down. The women have put up a sign: ‘Please listen to us. May we be heard.’ And I pick up that gauntlet.” 

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Here, we gather to listen to women serving in ministry today who are ready to be received as deacons in the Church. We also share prayers and hopes for our Church’s discernment, as we seek to bear collective witness to the movement of the Holy Spirit.

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Witness
“I feel that the Catholic Church as it is structured is not what Jesus envisioned for his followers—so many of them were women of his day. What happened?”
Joan D. Martin
Ignatian Volunteer Corps Member, parishioner at New Roads Catholic Community in Belmont, MA
Endorser
“It is time to open up the permanent diaconate to all who are qualified regardless of gender. The Church needs this witness.”
Keith Davis
Director of Deacon Formation (Archdiocese of Santa Fe) and National Association of Lay Ministry Board Member
Witness
“Having women present in leadership at Mass would truly reveal the importance of women in the church.”
Lena Denis
Endorser
“What a blessing it would be to see women … preaching the Good News from the pulpit and feeding God’s people at the Eucharist table as an Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion.”
Frank "Jay" Vocelka, OblSB
Retired Deacon from Fulltime Parish Ministry (Diocese of Austin)
Witness
“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.”
Katherine Novinski
Educator, Denver, Colorado
Witness
“Our Church needs women to be fully alive and active in and through her. I hope I see women welcomed to enter and live the diaconate in our Catholic Church in my lifetime. I would sign up yesterday.”
Louise Beggs
Small Faith Group Pastoral Minister, Ottawa, Canada

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