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Women Deacons? Essays with Answers featuring Phyllis Zagano

This teleconference featured Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D., a leading expert on the history of women deacons in the Catholic Church. Zagano reacts to the then-breaking news of Pope Francis agreeing to establish a commission on women deacons during a meeting with the UISG (Zagano was later named to that same commission). She then discusses her book Women Deacons? Essays with Answers. 

Dr. Phyllis Zagano is an internationally acclaimed Catholic scholar who has lectured throughout the United States, and in Canada, Europe, and Australia. Her many awards include the 2014 Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice from The Paulist Center Community in Boston for “her prolific body of work that has constantly echoed the cry of the poorest of our society for dignity and for justice both inside and outside the church….specifically the dignity of all women.” Her groundbreaking work on women in the diaconate led to her appointment to the Pontifical Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women in 2016. She has taught at Fordham, Boston, and Yale Universities, and currently holds a research appointment at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.

Women Ready to Serve as Deacons

This teleconference featured three women ready to serve as deacons. Connie Walsh has always felt a particular call to the permanent diaconate, not priesthood or religious life. Cynthia (Sam) Bowns recognized her desire to serve as a deacon as she accompanied her husband through his diaconal formation program. Natalie Terry is engaged in and feels called to greater ministerial leadership, and would seriously consider the diaconate if opened to women. After each speaker shares her story, Luke Hansen facilitates questions and discussion.