I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchreae. that you may receive her in the Lord as befits the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you, for she has been a helper of many and of myself as well.
Letter to the Romans from St. Paul (Romans 16:1 – RSV-CE)
Women have always been a very important part of our church, and this important letter from St. Paul references the first known deaconess of the church — Phoebe. Today, Pope Francis made an historic announcement to start a commission to look at having again women as deacons in the Roman Catholic Church. Thanks be to God for the love, wisdom, and mercy that women bring to our lives & faith.
Pope Francis to Set Up Commission to Study Question of Women Deacons (Deacon Greg Kandra – Aleteia)
The Phoebe Center (Orthodox) – history of Deaconess Phoebe
Diaconate (USCCB) – video, questions, and resources