The Most Reverend [Bishop’s full name]
[Bishop’s Office Street Address]
[Bishop’s Office City, State, Zip]
Dear Arch/Bishop [Last Name],[Date]
Dear Bishop [Last Name],
I am writing today to express my hope that local Churches would be able to call forth both men and women to serve as ordained deacons in the ministries of liturgy, word and charity.
Jesus has entrusted the Church with the mission to embody and proclaim the Good News of the love and mercy of God to all nations. In our part of the world, we have both great missionary opportunities and formidable pastoral challenges. We need the gifts of every Catholic to serve this mission.
[Write about your Catholic identity and practice]
I have the conviction that we need to hear the voices of women from the pulpit. We need to recognize the gifts of women for sacramental ministry, like presiding at baptisms and marriages. If women could be ordained as deacons, it would create an opportunity (outside of religious life) for women to make a life commitment to the Church, and it would expand your resources for the mission of the local Church by allowing you to train, ordain and give faculties to women.
On May 12, in an audience with the leaders of religious congregations of women, Pope Francis agreed to constitute an official commission to study the history and nature women of deacons in the Church. The membership and precise scope of the commission has not yet been determined. I believe it is a great opportunity for the Church to engage in a pastoral discernment involving prayer, dialogue, listening and a full assessment of missionary opportunities, pastoral needs and the gifts, charisms and actual ministry of women in the Church today.
I encourage you to learn more about the ministry of women deacons, to publicly support the work of this commission, and to publicly identify how your local Church would benefit from this ministry. With this letter, I have attached two pages of what I consider essential information about the ordination of women as deacons.
The people are hungry. Let us give them something to eat.
I am grateful for your prayerful consideration of the possibility of women deacons. If I can be of any assistance to you, please let me know. Meanwhile I will continue to pray for you and your ministry as the chief shepherd of your local Church.
[Your contact information]
Thank you for your work and support for women deacons!
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