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Sophie
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The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/09/03 17:15:43 (permalink)
Dear friends,

In Part II of his article The Ordination of Women Was Sacramental,* Dr. Wijngaards, who is a leading world authority on the women's diaconate in the Catholic Church, takes a concise look at an outline of the ordination rite for women deacons as it was celebrated in the Greek and Syriac speaking dioceses of the early Church.  From actual texts of the rites, he helps us to see that:

the sacramental character of the ordination of women deacons is indisputable. In particular, both the matter and form of the ordination are identical for men and women, and express the bishop's intention to ordain a true minister.

While some traditional theologians still deny the sacramentality of the deaconesses' ordination, more and more experts concur in stating that the ordination of women deacons undoubtedly belonged to the sacrament of order.  Dr.Wijngaards tells us 'who!' The article is available here: http://www.womenpriests.org/deacons/deac_ord.asp If you have any questions, please let me know.  

with love and blessings,
~Sophie~


*To read Part I, see:
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Ordained Women Deacons 2007/09/03 19:53:10 (permalink)



Deacon Phoebe of Cenchreae
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RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/09/03 20:21:27 (permalink)
A Modern Day Reconstruction of the Ancient Rite of Women's Ordination
 
 
The Bishop imposes his hand on her and prays: “Holy and Omnipotent Lord, through the birth of your Only Son our God from a Virgin according to the flesh, you have sanctified the female sex. You grant not only to men, but also to women the grace and coming (from above) of the Holy Spirit.
 
Please, Lord, look on this your maid servant and dedicate her to the task of your diaconate, and pour out into her the rich and abundant giving of your Holy Spirit. Preserve her so that she may always perform her ministry (leitourgia) with orthodox faith and irreproachable conduct, according to what is pleasing to you. For to you is due all glory and honour.”
 
- from Bessarion manuscript

See also:
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RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/09/03 20:31:13 (permalink)
News of interest from our Anglican friends in Canada:
 
Centre to begin classes at site of St. Paul’s visits
Retired diocesan priest’s dream nears fulfillment



A retired diocesan priest's dream of an educational institute at the site of an ancient settlement visited by St. Paul is moving closer to reality with the offering of a course in Greece this summer.

The Rev. Eve Wiseman announced that she and a group of friends and associates have founded "The Phoebe Institute," named for a "benefactor" Paul mentions by name in his letter to the Romans as "a great help to many people, including me." (Romans 16)

The course, investigating how the early Christian community developed after Paul's visits, will be offered at the Kalamaki Beach Hotel, which is near the site of Kenchreai, from October 22 through October 29, 2007. Field trips as well as lectures will be offered.

"The locals say that on the top of the mountain behind the harbour of Cenchrea is the cave that St Paul stayed in while he spent more than a year in the area," said Wiseman.



A Greek icon of Phoebe

Wiseman spent 29 years in higher education in England , Canada , and the US. She said that most people learn better and enjoy it more when they discover information that interests them through a variety of means. The Phoebe course will include not only academic information but also experimental learning.

Sister Dr. Elizabeth Rees, a specialist on early Roman as well as Celtic Christians, the Ennegram, drama therapy and dance will teach, along with Dr. Guy Sanders, a director of the American School of Archaeology, Athens.

Wiseman said the Phoebe Institute has been set up as a charitable organization, with plans to acquire property where a permanent centre can be housed for study, retreat, and healing.

The area is not far from Corinth, which is a high speed train trip from Athens and its airport. More information is available from the institute at phoebeinstitute@canada.com, or from the Rev. Linda St. Clair, who is also involved in the project. The institute's postal address is The Phoebe Institute for Religious Studies, P.O. Box 3170, Station Main, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3X6.

http://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/News/tabid/27/ctl/ViewArticle/ArticleId/492/mid/486/Default.aspx

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RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/09/25 03:46:30 (permalink)
In September 2001 the prefects of three Vatican congregations - Clergy, Divine Worship, and Doctrine of the Faith - issued a four paragraph ‘notification’ reminding diocesan ordinaries that women have not been readmitted to the diaconate, and hence should not be enrolled in preparatory courses for ordination. The ‘notification’, an administrative message aimed squarely at German-speaking bishops who indeed have been training women for diaconal service, if not for ordination, is a statement of current discipline that carries no doctrinal weight. Even so, it encourages those so inclined to believe that the matter is closed.


Dear friends,
 
 So opens Dr. Phyllis Zagano's article, Women Deacons - the Fears of Rome (The Furrow, September 2003, Volume LIV, Number 9.)  In it, she takes a look at Rome's persistent refusal to restore the ordained women's diaconate -- despite a Vatican commissioned investigation (similar results from an earlier investigation had been suppressed) by Cipriano Vagaggini, a liturgy expert and member of the Vatican's International Theological Commission, which presented the sacramental nature of the ordination of women deacons in the Greek and Byzantine tradition.
 
Zagano's thoughtful conclusion:



There is a deeper problem. Continued refusal to readmit women to the sacramental diaconate, something that the Church has both the power and the authority to do, will erode the very mission of the Church. The gospel teaches the dignity of all human beings. The greater the Church’s evangelization efforts, the greater its creation of a cognitive dissonance on the part of those who perchance hear the good news.
 
This should not be a confusing statement: We are all made in the image and likeness of God.

Her article is available via the blue link above.  If you have any questions, please let me know.
 
with love and blessings,
~Sophie~
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

 
Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D.
 
Dr. Zagano is Senior Research Associate-in-Residence at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Dr. Zagano joined Hofstra University in 2002, and teaches "Introduction to Western Religions" and "Mysticism and the Spiritual Quest".

During the Fall 2005 semester Dr. Zagano was a Visiting Associate Professor of Roman Catholic Studies at the Yale Divinity School, Yale University, New Haven, CT, where she taught "Roman Catholic Ecclesiology." During the Spring 2005 semester, Dr. Zagano held the Aquinas Chair of Catholic Studies at St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill, NY, where she taught "Catholicism Today" and "Catholic Women's Spirituality."

Dr. Zagano holds a B.A. from Marymount College, Tarrytown, NY, the Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and three master's degrees, in communications (Boston University), literature (Long Island University), and theology (St. John's University). She is the author or editor of ten books in religious studies, including "Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church" (Crossroad, 2000), winner of a First Place Book Award from the Catholic Press Association and the College Theology Society Annual Book Award (2002) She has published hundreds of articles and reviews in popular and refereed journals, and for five years hosted a monthly talk show on the National Public Radio affiliate station, WBUR-FM. Her work has been variously translated into Bahasa Indonesian, Czech, Italian, and Spanish. The Spanish translation of her best-selling book "On Prayer: A Letter for My Godchild" won a 2004 Catholic Press Association Book Award. Her works-in-progress include a comparative study of monastic rules, a work on women in the church today, and series editorship of The Liturgical Press "Spirituality in History" anthologies, including anthologies of writings in the Benedictine, Carmelite, Dominican, Franciscan and Ignatian Traditions. The first of the series, "The Dominican Tradition" was published in Fall 2006.

Dr. Zagano is a founding co-chair of the Roman Catholic Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion, and a member of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, the College Theology Society, and the Catholic Theological Society of America. She has taught at Fordham, Boston and Yale Universities, and worked as a researcher for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. Her biographical listings include Who's Who in American Education, Who's Who in the East, Who's Who of American Women, and Who's Who in America. Her twice-monthly column “Catholic Studies” is nationally syndicated by the Religion News Service

From time to time, she appears on television. This clip is from the Hallmark Channel's "New Morning" program, and was shot at the 2006 Interchurch Center Conference on Women in the Church. Play video.
post edited by Sophie - 2007/09/25 03:56:53
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RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/09/25 03:53:27 (permalink)
sidebar note of interest:  In light of Pope Benedict XVI's recent reminder to us that the East and Western Churches are in fact 'one Church,' Cipriano Vagaggini's Vatican commissioned investigation which presented the sacramental nature of the ordination of women deacons in the Greek and Byzantine tradition.
 
Following is the news bulletin about Pope Benedict's September 24, 2007 address:
 
East and West Form One Church, Says Pope
Addresses Visiting Bishops From Ukraine

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 24, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI affirmed that Eastern and Roman Catholics are united in forming one Church. The Pope said this today when receiving in audience the bishops of the Latin rite of Ukraine, in Italy for their five-yearly visit and accompanied by Greek-Catholic bishops from that country. They visited Benedict XVI at the papal summer residence south of Rome.

The Holy Father stated: "In the variety of its rites and historical traditions, the one Catholic Church in every corner of the earth announces and bears witness to the one Jesus Christ, the Word of salvation for all men and for all of man. It is for this reason that the effectiveness of all our pastoral and apostolic projects depends, above all, on faithfulness to Christ."

The Pope asked for an intensified collaboration between the Latin-rite bishops and the Greek-Catholic bishops in Ukraine "for the good of the entire Christian people."

Testimony

"Animated by this spirit," the Pontiff told the prelates, "it is not difficult for you [...] to intensify cordial cooperation between Latin bishops and Greek-Catholic bishops, for the good of the entire Christian people. Thus you have the opportunity to coordinate your pastoral plans and your apostolic activities, always offering testimony of that ecclesial communion which is also an indispensable condition for ecumenical dialogue with our brethren in the Orthodox and other Churches."

The Holy Father suggested to the Latin and Greek-Catholic bishops that they meet at least once a year, reaching "agreement between yourselves in order to make pastoral activity ever more harmonious and effective. I am convinced that fraternal cooperation between pastors will be an encouragement and a stimulus for all the faithful to grow in unity and apostolic enthusiasm, and that it will also favor fruitful ecumenical dialogue."

Benedict XVI highlighted the prelates' efforts "to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel in the dear land of Ukraine, sometimes encountering no small number of difficulties but always supported by the awareness that Christ guides his flock with a sure hand, the flock that he himself entrusted to your hands as his ministers."

© Innovative Media, Inc.
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RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/10/03 00:40:05 (permalink)
Dear friends,

As an aside, the following appears in today's Zenit -- one of the Vatican's news engines. In light of our discussions about ordained women deacons, I thought this modern perspective on this ordained ministry currently limited to men only would be of interest.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

with love and blessings,
~Sophie~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


What a Deacon Can Do

ROME, OCT. 2, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: In our parish we have a temporary overseas priest and a married deacon. During Benediction our married deacon consistently wears the full vestments that a priest wears for Benediction; says the Divine Praises; and elevates the monstrance while the overseas priest either sits watching in the pew or acts as an acolyte, swinging the thurible. The priest only wears an alb or even just plain clothes with no vestments, and remains kneeling. Several parishioners are much disturbed and have said so. I have asked the deacon why he wears the priest's vestments. His answer: "I'm an ordained minister." My reply was, "But you are not a priest." I asked, "Who has given you authority to do this?" He stated that the bishop has. There are other irregularities which he persists in during the Mass. He stands throughout the prayers; takes the host from the ciborium given to him by the overseas priest; mouths the doxology; and even holds the paten containing the host. -- R.I., state of New South Wales, Australia

A: Some distinctions should be made. Although the deacon is an ordained minister, he is of a lower grade than a priest and therefore he should not preside over the community if a priest is present.

Therefore in normal cases a deacon may not give a blessing, and even less so Benediction, if a priest is present and available.

He may do so if the priest is legitimately impeded, for example, if the priest were hearing confessions during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and could not leave the confessional to impart Benediction.

In those cases where the deacon legitimately imparts Benediction, either because there is no priest or the priest is impeded, the deacon may wear the same vestments as the priest: the stole albeit worn in the manner of a deacon, the cope and the humeral veil. He may also recite or sing the same prayers as the priest. He does not need any special permission from the bishop to wear these vestments as the rubrics already foresee it.

The other actions that our correspondent describes are aptly termed irregularities. The deacon should usually kneel for the consecration, silently hold up the chalice (not the paten) for the doxology, and should always receive Communion from the priest and not self-communicate.

Rather than any special permission or dispensation from the bishop (who is unlikely to dispense from basic liturgical law for no reason), such errors are more probably due to bad habits and imperfect liturgical formation. The person responsible for correcting them is the pastor, the priest celebrant, or even the bishop if the local priest is unwilling.

When a deacon is ordained he promises the bishop and the Church that he is willing to carry out the diaconal service with humility and love as a cooperator of the priestly order and for the good of the Christian people. If he lives up to his promise, then he will gladly correct any errors that might have crept in.

The Web site of the U.S. bishops' conference has a useful document "The Deacon at Mass," based on the latest norms from the Holy See.


ZE07100202 - 2007-10-02
Permalink: http://www.zenit.org/article-20651?l=english
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RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/10/25 20:47:54 (permalink)
Today, October 25 is the feast day of Saint Tabitha who was an ordained woman deacon in the early Church in Israel.
 
Tabitha is mentioned in Acts 9,36-42.  She is also called Dorcas. She lived at Joppa and was a woman who was noted for her Christian life, good works and almsgiving. When she fell ill, St Peter came and healed her through his prayers. Ancient tradition says that she was ordained a deacon.

Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated means Dorcas). She was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving. Now during those days she fell sick and died, so after washing her, they laid (her) out in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, "Please come to us without delay." So Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs where all the widows came to him weeping and showing him the tunics and cloaks that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to her body and said, "Tabitha, rise up." She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. He gave her his hand and raised her up, and when he had called the holy ones and the widows, he presented her alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many came to believe in the Lord.
 
Acts 9: 36-42
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RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/10/25 20:56:01 (permalink)


St. Peter healing a cripple, and the raising of Tabitha, c.1427 by Tommaso Masolino da Panicale
© Bridgeman Art Library / Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy

http://www.bridgemanartondemand.com/index.cfm?event=catalogue.product&productID=105849
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RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/10/25 21:09:30 (permalink)
Saint Tabitha


ΑΓΙΑ ΤΑΒΥΘΑ - ST. TAVITHA
http://byzicons.net/album/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=-12&pos=44
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RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/11/13 00:55:34 (permalink)
Dear friends,

I hope you are as encouraged as we are by watching our petition to Pope Benedict XVI gathering momentum. Already, nearly 1,250 individuals and 25 organisations in 15 countries representing more than 40 000 Catholics have joined us in asking him to restore the diaconate for women. Our most recent signator comes from Malaysia.

 
Pope Benedict XVI 


Massive international support speaks volumes in terms of sending the message to Rome that it is well past time to shake off the "mind-forged manacles" of medieval misogyny and to return to ordaining women as deacons, a practice which existed in the early Church.

Far from diminishing the Pope's authority, restoring the ordained womens' diaconate would give greater credibility to Pope Benedict's pronouncements about Mary's important leadership role.

If you haven't already, I encourage you to both sign the petition tell your friends about it. The Petition is available through link: http://www.womenpriests.org/dreamshareact/phpPETITION/  A  helpful tool for spreading the word about the Petition is found here: http://www.equalityforwomen.org/cgi-bin/petition.cgi

Any questions?  Be sure to let me know.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
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RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/12/18 17:19:13 (permalink)
Church Leadership Keeps Women in the Kitchen
by Phyllis Zagano*
The Prairie Messenger
December 5, 2007

The recent joint Catholic-Orthodox statement that affirmed the primacy of the Pope could signal a circling of wagons around the shrinking influence of the churches of Rome and Constantinople.

Unfortunately, it could be another trumpet blast against women’s ordination.

But first, the big picture: The two sides essentially agreed that the pope in Rome has first place among other eastern and western bishops; this steps seems a genuine attempt at healing the thousand year old split.

Things were pretty much resolved twice before – at ecumenical councils in the thirteenth and in the fifteenth centuries – but the agreements did not stick.

The new joint statement avoids any managerial nitty-gritty. It says Rome occupied first place in the ancient Church well before the Great Schism of 1054, but sidestepped what prerogatives the bishop of Rome had then or might have now.

For Catholic and Orthodox Christians, who already recognise each others sacraments and historic succession of bishops, the theological debates are essentially settled. Reunion may bolster Christianity’s global influence. The reunification of 1.1 billion Catholics and 225 million Orthodox could help efforts to fight the secularization of Europe and extend Christianity’s influence in Asia and Asia Minor. And Catholicism has one thing the Orthodox dearly need: money.

For Catholic and Orthodox women, meanwhile, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is the Orthodox have a longer, stronger and accepted tradition of ordaining women as deacons. The bad news is Catholic objections to ordination of women as priests pale next to those of the Orthodox. With Catholic-Orthodox accord, the cause of Catholic women deacons might be strengthened, but the cause of Catholic women priests would be pushed farther back in the freezer.

Either way, both churches will continue to lose women.

Something has to give. When will the men – East and West – finally recognize that women are driving the churches’ influence, even as it declines? In each church, women have been the mainstays of both membership and ministry. As women affirm that they, like men, are made in the image and likeness of God, they are more and more disaffected by a church leadership that literally keeps them in the kitchen.

When Vatican Secretary Tarcisio Bertone said last summer that more women would be appointed to Vatican government, he was throwing a bone to women who were already out the door. The highest-ranking woman in the Vatican is Sister Enrica Rosanna, who holds the No. 3 position in the congregation that oversees religious orders. Most of the other women who work at the Vatican are secretaries – or housekeepers. Real church governance is restrict to ordained men.

On the outside, the shrinking cultural and political influence of eastern and western hierarchs has everything to do with their attitudes towards women. As they keep their ornate doors locked against feminine influence, mothers and sisters and daughters keep their own – and their husbands’ -- chequebooks closed. Women join other (secular) organisations if they wish to live in service to humanity. And they don’t let their sons become priests.

Meanwhile, Rome and Constantinople will find common cause. Rome studied women deacons and said it needed more study. The Orthodox Church of Greece voted years ago to restore the female diaconate, but has not yet done so. Bartholemew I, the spiritual leader world orthodoxy, says there’s nothing against women deacons, but has not ordained any. The traction against women deacons is not based on solid footing; it is based on being stuck in the mud.

Catholic and Orthodox prelates need to understand that if they want to be heard on the world stage they must include women at every level of decision making. They can begin by restoring their respective traditions of ordained women deacons, not closing ranks against them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



 
*Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D.
 
Dr. Zagano is Senior Research Associate-in-Residence at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Dr. Zagano joined Hofstra University in 2002, and teaches "Introduction to Western Religions" and "Mysticism and the Spiritual Quest".

During the Fall 2005 semester Dr. Zagano was a Visiting Associate Professor of Roman Catholic Studies at the Yale Divinity School, Yale University, New Haven, CT, where she taught "Roman Catholic Ecclesiology." During the Spring 2005 semester, Dr. Zagano held the Aquinas Chair of Catholic Studies at St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill, NY, where she taught "Catholicism Today" and "Catholic Women's Spirituality."

Dr. Zagano holds a B.A. from Marymount College, Tarrytown, NY, the Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and three master's degrees, in communications (Boston University), literature (Long Island University), and theology (St. John's University). She is the author or editor of ten books in religious studies, including "Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church" (Crossroad, 2000), winner of a First Place Book Award from the Catholic Press Association and the College Theology Society Annual Book Award (2002) She has published hundreds of articles and reviews in popular and refereed journals, and for five years hosted a monthly talk show on the National Public Radio affiliate station, WBUR-FM. Her work has been variously translated into Bahasa Indonesian, Czech, Italian, and Spanish. The Spanish translation of her best-selling book "On Prayer: A Letter for My Godchild" won a 2004 Catholic Press Association Book Award. Her works-in-progress include a comparative study of monastic rules, a work on women in the church today, and series editorship of The Liturgical Press "Spirituality in History" anthologies, including anthologies of writings in the Benedictine, Carmelite, Dominican, Franciscan and Ignatian Traditions. The first of the series, "The Dominican Tradition" was published in Fall 2006.

Dr. Zagano is a founding co-chair of the Roman Catholic Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion, and a member of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, the College Theology Society, and the Catholic Theological Society of America. She has taught at Fordham, Boston and Yale Universities, and worked as a researcher for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. Her biographical listings include Who's Who in American Education, Who's Who in the East, Who's Who of American Women, and Who's Who in America. Her twice-monthly column “Catholic Studies” is nationally syndicated by the Religion News Service.
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RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2008/01/01 23:57:55 (permalink)
Deacon St. Melania
Feastday:December 31
439


St. Melania of Rome

St. Melania whose feast day is December 31 was born to wealthy Christians, Publicola, a Roman senator, and Albina. At fourteen, she was married. She had two children who died at an early age. Her husband agreed to lead a life of continency and religious dedication.

Inheriting her father's vast wealth, Melania endowed monasteries in Egypt, Syria, and Palestine and aided churches and monasteries in Europe. To escape the barbarian invasions, she fled with her mother and husband to Tagaste in Numidia in the year 410.

In 417, all three made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and settled at Jerusalem, where Melania became a friend of St. Jerome. After the death of her mother in 431 and her husband in 432, Melania attracted many women to her way of life, some of whom, like herself, became deacons.

She founded a convent, for which she served as Abbess until her death on December 31, 439.

Her feast day is December 31.
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RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2008/01/01 23:58:20 (permalink)
From a book review of  ENCOUNTERING WOMEN OF FAITH, The St. Catherine’s Vision Collection, Volume I , Edited by Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald, 137 pp. InterOrthodox Press $14.95
 
Excerpt from Book Review by  Marilyn Rouvelas :



Author Kryiaki Kariodoyanes Fitzgerald, a therapist, focused on the “unspeakable pain and loss” that St. Melania the Younger (383-439) experienced early in her life after the death of her only two children. (The saint was the granddaughter of the well-known St. Melania the Elder.) Although inspired by her grandmother to devote totally herself to the Church, she married and had two children. After losing both their son and daughter, St. Melania turned to intense prayer, study, and fasting. From the author’s personal and professional experience, she expresses intense empathy for St. Melania: “Great losses challenge every aspect of our relationship with reality: God, others, ourselves and creation. . . This is where the unimaginable hole in [St. Melania’s] heart, the hole that seemed to have even replaced her heart, even her very self at times was presented to God as a kind of living sacrifice. This is where her work truly began...”  St. Melania and her husband, St. Pinianus, then became celibate, devoting their lives to the Church. The author poignantly imparts the universality of pain a mother feels at the loss of a child, and suggests turning to the reality of abiding in God’s love, like St. Melania, to bring healing and spiritual growth.
...
 
The other essays about St. Susanna of Palestine, the Righteous Susanna of the Book of Daniel, the New Martyr Elizabeth Feodorovna, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Catherine, the Myrrh-Bearing Women and a second chapter on St. Melania also help us encounter the saints and our faith in wonderful ways.
 
But the book also gives a broad perspective on the ways women have served in the Orthodox Church in the past and today. By making these women saints, the Church recognized their extraordinary witness and contributions: philanthropy, education, ministering to the needy, founding monasteries, etc. The Church recognized the service of three of these eight women by ordaining them to the diaconate during their lifetimes: St. Olympias, St. Susanna of Palestine, and St. Melania the Younger.
 
As explained in Zahirsky’s chapter on Deaconess Olympias, deaconesses have served in the Orthodox church for centuries. In fact ordination prayers and the rite itself still exist and have not been expunged by the Orthodox Church. (For more information read: Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church by Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald. The book includes an appendix that provides the Greek ordination rite for the femaledeacon and the recommendations of church consultations at the highest levels starting in 1988 that have advocated the restoration of the order of women deacons.)
 
The female diaconate is now being reinstituted in Greece in a limited way.
post edited by Sophie - 2008/01/01 23:59:33
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RE: Ordained Women Deacons 2008/01/10 00:57:48 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
Today, January 10 is the feast day of ordained woman deacon Theosebia in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Theosebia,  also known as Theosebia the Deaconess is a fourth century Christian leader recognized as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church. As a saint she is referred to as Blessed Theosebia the Deaconess.

Her life and identification is ambiguous: her years of birth and death are uncertain (probably subsequent to 381). However, she is thought to have played an important role in the church in Nyssa, where she was called diaconissa, the deaconess.

Cyril of Jerusalem wrote a letter of condolence on her death to Gregory of Nyssa in which Cyril mentioned "your sister Theosebia" and "true consort of a priest". Hither comes the ambiguity of her identification. Some historians supposed Theosebia was the wife of Gregory of Nyssa, others suppose she was one of his sisters like Macrina the Younger. If so, then Theosebia was the sister of Basil the Great as well. Others imagined that she was the wife of Gregory Nazianzen, but there is no evidence to show that he was ever married.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theosebia
Sophie
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RE: Ordained Women Deacons 2008/01/10 00:58:47 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Learn more about the ordination of women as deacons in the ancient Church, see here:

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RE: Ordained Women Deacons 2008/01/10 01:09:51 (permalink)
Dear friends,

If you are new to the work of www.womenpriests.org and our Circles dialogues, you will be interested to know about a current campaign we are supporting. 

www.womenpriests.org has endorsed what is a coalition effort gathering signatures in support of a global letter to Pope Benedict XVI. The letter asks him to restore the ordained women's diaconate to the Church. Our Team Member Jackie Clackson shares the following the information about it the letter:



We are going to send a chain letter to the Pope requesting him to admit women to the sacrament of the diaconate. This will be a letter from the People of God. After this introduction we post the core text of the letter. This core text is deliberately left short. It was agreed to by all member movements of Women's Ordination Worldwide .

In this blog we are inviting you to sign this letter and so subscribe to it. Please, add your own thoughts, testimonies, pleas and life stories that will be sent to the Pope as part of the official letter. So, speak up! The People of God must be heard! Tell the Pope why the Church should at least make the first step of restoring the diaconate of women that has functioned for a thousand years!

Jackie



I encourage you to spread the news, provide your endorsement, and encourage others to do the same. You can view the letter and sign it via this link: Attach your signature here!

Also, if you are interested, you can see the now hundreds of people who have endorsed the letter since it began, see here: View Signatures. The blue arrows at the bottom of the page will help you advance page by page. The green arrows provide a direct connection to either the beginning or the end of the list.

I encourage you: Please provide your support by endorsing the Letter! Modern technology provides us with marvellous resources to lift our voices in unison! Be a part of global action. Pease join us by including your endorsement through the link at the bottom or connect with it here: Attach your signature here.  If you have any questions, as always, let me know.

with love and blessings,

~Sophie~
Sophie
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RE: Ordained Women Deacons 2008/01/10 01:10:41 (permalink)
 
 
ps!!!

Please spread the word about the Petition to the Pope.  The following provides information as to how you can easily do this via the following link: 

Tell others about our petition to the Pope ...

If you have a friend you could ask to join, please do!

Fill in the e-mail address of the person(s) you wish to pass the information to along with your own name and e-mail address (they might otherwise think it is spam.) Then click the SEND button. There is space to write a few personal words that will be included in the e-mail.
 

The following link: http://www.equalityforwomen.org/cgi-bin/petition.cgi will connects you to this facility. Computer technology will take care of sending the mail on its way!   

~s~
Sophie
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RE: Ordained Women Deacons 2008/01/14 00:26:42 (permalink)
Saint Tatiana: Ordained Woman Deacon and Martyr in the Ancient Church
Feastday: January 12



Saint Tatiana was a third century Christian martyr during the reign of Roman Emperor Alexander Severus. She was a deaconess of the early church.

According to legend, she was the daughter of a Roman civil servant who was secretly Christian, and raised his daughter in the faith. This was dangerous, and one day the jurist Ulpian captured Tatiana and attempted to force her to make a sacrifice to Apollo. She prayed, and miraculously, an earthquake destroyed the idol and part of the temple.

Tatiana was then blinded, and beaten for two days, before being brought to a circus and thrown into the pit with a hungry lion. But the lion did not touch her and lay at her feet. This resulted in a death sentence being pronounced, and after being tortured, Tatiana was beheaded with a sword around AD 225 or 230.

Veneration

January 12 is her feast day in the Western Church while January 25 is her feast day in the East. The miracles she performed are said to have converted many people to the fledgling religion. Saint Tatiana is patron saint of students.  In Belorus, Russian, and Ukraine, Tatiana Day, also known as "Students Day", is a holiday.

The similarity of her life with those of Martina and Prisca has led some to question whether they may even all be the same person. There is no early evidence of veneration of either Martina or Tatiana in Rome, and Prisca (or Priscilla) is hard to identify.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Tatiana
Sophie
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RE: Ordained Women Deacons 2008/01/14 00:27:20 (permalink)
Holy Virgin Martyr Tatiana of Rome



from the Eastern Liturgy:


Troparion of St Tatiana of Rome Tone 4

Strengthened by the power of faith,/ thou didst contend for Christ our God, O glorious Tatiana;/ thou didst endure every affliction/ and by thy courage put Belial to shame./ We beseech thee to deliver us from the power of the evil one.

Kontakion of St Tatiana of Rome Tone 4

Thou wast radiant in suffering, Tatiana,/ and in the royal purple of thy blood thou didst fly like a dove to heaven./ Wherefore pray unceasingly for those who honour thee.

From the Prologue:


Tatiana was a Roman whose parents were of great nobility. She was a Christian and a deaconess in the church. After the death of Emperor Heliogabalus, Emperor Alexander, whose mother Mammaea was a Christian, reigned in Rome. The emperor himself was wavering and indecisive in the Faith for he kept statues of Christ, Apollo, Abraham and Orpheus in his palace. His chief assistants persecuted the Christians without the emperor's orders. When they brought out the virgin Tatiana for torture, she prayed to God for her torturers. And behold, their eyes were opened and they saw four angels around the martyr. Seeing this, eight of them believed in Christ for which they also were tortured and slain. The tormentors continued to torture St. Tatiana. They whipped her, cut off parts of her body; they scraped her with irons. So all disfigured and bloody, Tatiana was thrown into the dungeon that evening so that the next day, they could, again, begin anew with different tortures. But God sent His angels to the dungeon to encourage her and to heal her wounds so that, each morning, Tatiana appeared before the torturers completely healed. They threw her before a lion, but the lion endeared himself to her and did her no harm. They cut off her hair, thinking, according to their pagan reasoning, that some sorcery or some magical power was concealed in her hair. Finally, Tatiana along with her father were both beheaded. Thus, Tatiana ended her earthly life about the year 225 A.D., and this heroic virgin, who had the fragile body of a woman but a robust and valiant spirit, was crowned with the immortal wreath of glory.

From the OCA website:



The Holy Virgin Martyr Tatiana was born into an illustrious Roman family, and her father was elected consul three times. He was secretly a Christian and raised his daughter to be devoted to God and the Church. When she reached the age of maturity, Tatiana decided to remain a virgin, betrothing herself to Christ. Disdaining earthly riches, she sought instead the imperishable wealth of Heaven. She was made a deaconess in one of the Roman churches and served God in fasting and prayer, tending the sick and helping the needy.

When Rome was ruled by the sixteen-year-old Alexander Severus (222-235), all power was concentrated in the hands of the regent Ulpian, an evil enemy and persecutor of Christians. Christian blood flowed like water. Tatiana was also arrested, and they brought her into the temple of Apollo to force her to offer sacrifice to the idol. The saint began praying, and suddenly there was an earthquake. The idol was smashed into pieces, and part of the temple collapsed and fell down on the pagan priests and many pagans. The demon inhabiting the idol fled screeching from that place. Those present saw its shadow flying through the air.

Then they tore holy virgin's eyes out with hooks, but she bravely endured everything, praying for her tormentors that the Lord would open their spiritual eyes. And the Lord heard the prayer of His servant. The executioners saw four angels encircle the saint and beat her tormentors. A voice was heard from the heavens speaking to the holy virgin. Eight men believed in Christ and fell on their knees before St. Tatiana, begging them to forgive them their sin against her. For confessing themselves Christians they were tortured and executed, receiving Baptism by blood.

The next day St. Tatiana was brought before the wicked judge. Seeing her completely healed of all her wounds, they stripped her and beat her, and slashed her body with razors. A wondrous fragrance then filled the air. Then she was stretched out on the ground and beaten for so long that the servants had to be replaced several times. The torturers became exhausted and said that an invisible power was beating them with iron rods. Indeed, the angels warded off the blows directed at her and turned them upon the tormentors, causing nine of them to fall dead. They then threw the saint in prison, where she prayed all night and sang praises to the Lord with the angels.

A new morning began, and they took St. Tatiana to the tribunal once more. The torturers beheld with astonishment that after such terrible torments she appeared completely healthy and even more radiant and beautiful than before. They began to urge her to offer sacrifice to the goddess Diana. The saint seemed agreeable, and they took her to the heathen temple. St. Tatiana made the Sign of the Cross and began to pray. Suddenly, there was a crash of deafening thunder, and lightning struck the idol, the sacrificial offerings and the pagan priests.

Once again, the martyr was fiercely tortured. She was hung up and scraped with iron claws, and her breasts were cut off. That night, angels appeared to her in prison and healed her wounds as before. On the following day, they took St. Tatiana to the circus and loosed a hungry lion on her. The beast did not harm the saint, but meekly licked her feet.

As they were taking the lion back to its cage, it killed one of the torturers. They threw Tatiana into a fire, but the fire did not harm the martyr. The pagans, thinking that she was a sorceress, cut her hair to take away her magical powers, then locked her up in the temple of Zeus.

On the third day, pagan priests came to the temple intending to offer sacrifice to Zeus. They beheld the idol on the floor, shattered to pieces, and the holy martyr Tatiana joyously praising the Lord Jesus Christ. The judge then condemned the valiant sufferer to be beheaded with a sword. Her father was also executed with her, because he had raised her to love Christ.
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