Celebrate the feast of St. Phoebe, September 3rd with prayer services led by women, praying for the restoration of women to the diaconate through the intercession of St. Phoebe and the courage of women witnessing to their call.
Why? And some considerations…
- Creates an opportunity/invitation for women to go public; and for more people in the Church to express their support for expanding women’s roles in the church
- Earn media (possibly just catholic, but would be good to aim for some secular press as well)
- Need to consider the way COVID and pandemic has pushed us to new experiences of church — find a way to build on that reality, rather than resist or ignore. [[messaging questions]]
- Also want to think about the possible ways to invite a dialogue with the two US members on the commission
- Do some power analysis:
- Anyone have more intel?!
- Is there a way to invite conversation // share testimony & letters (respectful, tight message, also honest about seeking to discern call)
- Flood with letters….??
- Invite them to engage in a listening process to hear from women about this particular, focused topic of restoring women to the diaconate.
- [[Demand needs some work. How much power do we need // how many letters to make an impression. I am sure they have gotten ZERO testimony letters! How do we get into relationship]]
What’s in it for me?
- I want to draw attention to the fact that there is a commission + this is under consideration right now in the Church.
- AKA: We have permission to talk about this issue, are well within bounds of magisterial appropriateness…
- I want to build on work I’ve begun in my parish (reading Zagano’s book, having a talk, writing to the Bishop) — to continue to strengthen the parish’s identity and posture of support for women in ministry
- I want to test this space — this workshop — can we use this space to get clear, and then find paths to act collectively (not only in individual discernment, but to move toward collective work of different, diverse kinds)
- I want to disrupt narratives of new feminism, or at least, complicate them — as they continue to lay claim to Catholic-woman-ness with the next generation (leaving behind so very many folks)
- I don’t want bishops to be able to say they have never met or heard of a woman clearly express a desire to serve as an ordained deacon. I don’t want that to get to be a story they can tell. I don’t think there has been a super-organized effort that has been powerful enough to demand, in key places, that the local clergy “receive her in the Lord”
- I DO NOT WANT A deaconette role that is second fiddle to deacons; that is the last thing we need. I want to be part of building power with people of faith to witness to this way to meet some of the needs of the church & bring about a bit of renewal & healing. (again – not a fix-all)
Who is with me?
Please do comment below to get the conversation going — would love insights, feedback, poke holes, offer suggestions, and if you’re up for joining the party planning, would love to scheme further about this near term goal.
I’m working on my sheet / action plan here. It still needs a LOT of fleshing out!