Essay: Book Launch for Just Church by Dr. Phyllis Zagano

May 19, 2023

Recently, Phyllis Zagano, PhD., a leading expert on the theology and history of woman deacons in the early Church, gave a lecture in Wallace Hall promoting her newest book, Just Church: Catholic Social Teaching, Synodality, and Women. She is highly regarded internationally as a scholar and lecturer on spirituality and the restoration of women deacons in the Catholic Church. Dr. Zagano was appointed to the papal commission for the study of the diaconate of women.

The lecture was inspirational, and Dr. Zagano engaged the audience to think about the Synodal process happening in the Church right now. Pope Francis is encouraging change to come from us as members of the Roman Catholic Church and has established pathways for lay women to vote in the Synod. Progress is emerging in the new synodal process as women’s voices are being heard and the hierarchy is listening, thanks to Pope Francis.

However, even though the new synodal progress is encouraging, Dr. Zagano points out, “despite the many topics that touch on the experiences of women, Catholic social justice principles as they are, or are not, applied to women.”

In response to the study of women becoming ordained into the diaconate, Dr. Zagano reminds us that this would be a Restorative practice. St. Phoebe was one of the first female deacons who evangelized with St. Paul. During this very important Synod, the time is here for us to learn about the women deacons who preached the Good News.

— Jean Santopatre, Pastoral Associate