A webinar will be held to explore the permanent diaconate and women’s diaconal ministry, following the Plenary Council’s decree, “That, should the universal law of the Church be modified to authorize the diaconate for women, the Plenary Council recommends that the Australian Bishops examine how best to implement it in the context of the Church in Australia.”
The final Decree 4 of the Plenary Council included these words, “That, should the universal law of the Church be modified to authorize the diaconate for women, the Plenary Council recommends that the Australian Bishops examine how best to implement it in the context of the Church in Australia.”
But what exactly is a permanent deacon, especially since the order was renewed at Vatican II? Have there been any precedents for women deacons and how might their ministries inspire us today?
Join Dr Phyllis Zagano and Rev Assoc Prof Anthony Gooley to explore these themes in a webinar celebrating the Feast of St Phoebe on 3 September. Brought to you by Australian Catholics Exploring the Diaconate and supported by Catholic Religious Australia, the webinar will be a chance to pray, learn, discuss and be inspired by diaconal ministry past, present and future.
The webinar will begin at 10am AEST with prayer, followed by Phyllis speaking on “Who was St Phoebe and how does her ministry inspire us today?”. After breakout time, Deacon Anthony will cover “What are the hopes for the ministry of the permanent diaconate since Vatican II?” A second breakout time will be followed by moderated discussion and a response from former ABC presenter, Genevieve Jacobs AM.
Phyllis is an internationally acclaimed Catholic scholar and lecturer on contemporary spirituality and women’s issues in the church. Her award-winning books include Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church, Women Deacons? Essays with Answers and Women: Icons of Christ. Phyllis belonged to the 2016-2018 Papal Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women. She holds a research appointment at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.
Deacon Anthony is Associate Dean (Courses) and Head of Leadership and Theology at BBI – The Australian Institute of Theological Education. He is a deacon of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, living and ministering in the Diocese of Broken Bay. He has written and spoken on the diaconate in Australia and overseas. The ancient ministry of women deacons and restoration of this ministry is a significant point of interest in the Catholic Church at present. Some of this he explores in his book Deacons Today: New Wine, New Wineskins. Coventry Press: Bayswater. 2019.
Australian Catholics Exploring the Diaconate began in September 2021, along with the blog site, Liturgy on the Margins (https://liturgyonthemargins.org/). The group generates conversation around diaconal ministry in the Australian Catholic Church with two main aims:
- PRESENT: To recognise, celebrate and promote diaconal ministry in Australia, especially as it is experienced through liturgy in marginal spaces and communities.
- FUTURE: To identify people and situations that yearn for such ministry, and potential leaders to carry out this ministry through formal Church endorsement.
Register for the Webinar for free at: https://liturgyonthemargins.org/events/