St Phoebe 2023 and Elizabeth Visits the Abbey

Two items today. Firstly, our Australian Catholics Exploring the Diaconate group is planning a special event for the Feast of St Phoebe 2023. It will take the form of a retreat for those interested in the permanent diaconate, and will be a chance to get together in person. We are planning to have times of sharing, learning about the history of the diaconate and St Phoebe, and experiencing a spirituality of service/mission. At the moment, we are looking at holding this retreat:

  • Sydney NSW
  • Friday evening 1st September – Sunday midday 3rd September 2023

The event will culminate on the Feast of St Phoebe (3rd Sep) with a public event, and we will connect in with any international or interstate happenings.

Although it is a long way off, we would like to hear if you would be interested in attending such an event. To express your interest, please email

Secondly, Dr Phyllis Zagano, who has written much about women and the diaconate, has produced a delightful little story about a 12-year-old girl who learns about women’s roles in the Church: Elizabeth Visits the Abbey. It is a wonderful way to share some of this history and current information with the young, or just enter imaginatively into the world of a contemporary Cistercian abbey in Ireland. The book has a lot of detail without coming across as a lecture, and I would like to thank Phyllis for reaching out to younger generations who will be the church ministers of the future.

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