Keep the Faith, Change the Church.

Women's Roles

Note: Read 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.

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

***** Write a letter to your bishop calling for ordained women deacons *****

Current Focus

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.

Take Action!

Letter template to request women deacons 

Read Women Deacons: Past, Present, and Future by Gary Macy, William T. Ditewig, and Phyllis Zagano and 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."


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)


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)