Keep the Faith, Change the Church.

Women's Roles

The Women’s Initiative is dedicated to the proposition that all baptized Catholics—women and men—have equal access to all positions within the Church and have a voice in all decision-making processes. Learn more by reading the white paper developed by a collaborative working group that included members from the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP), lay religious, and representatives from VOTF and FutureChurch.

VOTF encourages conversation on all ministries and opportunities for women, but we focus our project work primarily on the restoration of the female diaconate.

What You Can Do

(1) Write a letter to your bishop calling for ordained women deacons

(2) Distribute cards summarizing the evidence and the need for women deacons

Each card has two paragraphs (one front and one back) summarizing the case for women deacons. They are designed to print out (on paper or card stock) on your home computer or via a copy service. Just click the link for the language needed (below), then save the PDF file to your computer. Print the file using your printer's double-sided function (be sure to choose "flip on long side" in the options). The two-sided page then can be cut into six separate cards (or papers) for you to hand out. 

English Spanish French Italian Portuguese German Japanese

(3) Conduct DeaconChat projects in your faith communities

In conjunction with FutureChurch and the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, VOTF participates in DeaconChat, an initiative aimed at fostering education and conversations about women deacons. The program includes three elements: 

  • Learn about women deacons.
  • Share what you learn with others--both lay and clergy.
  • Connect with others for conversations about restoring this Church ministry for women.

While on the DeaconChat page, be sure to check out the resources available for download. We are grateful to FutureChurch for preparing the web pages and sharing their documents so that we all can participate in this vital conversation. 

VOTF and FutureChurch also have issued a call for U.S. bishops to to publicly support the restoration of the female diaconate.

For a broader look at the issues and resources on women deacons, also check out the Catholic Women Deacons website.

More Action!

Read Women Deacons: Past, Present, and Future by Gary Macy, William T. Ditewig, and Phyllis Zagano, then host sessions using the Study Guide prepared to accompany the book (after clicking the link, look in the left-hand column and click "Download Study Guide for Women Deacons.")

Letter template to request women deacons 

Readings

Declaration on Status of Women in the Church 

DeaconChat Campaign -- collaborative effort with AUSCP and FutureChurch

Women Deacons: How Long? -- paper on restoring the female diaconate to the Church (15 pages)

Suggested Readings: Women in the Church -- additional resources and information on women's roles (9 pages)

Videos

Current Debate on Women Deacons and the Papal Commission(link is external)

Salt & Light Media "Witness" Interview(link is external)

Salt & Light Media "Women Deacons"(link is external)

Global Perspectives "Questions for the Modern World: Women Deacons"(link is external)

Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future | Conversations with America(link is external)

Santa Clara University Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministry: Women Deacons(link is external)

Los Angeles Religious Education Workshop Women Deacons -- Who Were They? What Did They Do?(link is external)