BULLETIN: Sunday, September 3, 2017
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Saint Phoebe is recognized as the first woman deacon. She is honored as being the prototype for female deacons just as Saint Stephen is the prototype for male deacons. Saint Phoebe came from a very busy port area called Cenchreae. Saint Paul gave recognition to Saint Phoebe, thanking her in public for her hospitality and for meeting the needs of the people in Cenchreae, and urging others to help her with her ministry as “a deaconess of the Church at Cenchreae.” Centuries later, Saint John Chrysostom praised Saint Phoebe’s work for the Church as an inspiration and model for both men and women to imitate. He calls her a saint – a holy person and a woman who served the Church through the office of deacon. It was an honor to be able to give such service to the community through charitable acts and dedication to the church community. There are many women in addition to Saint Phoebe who are recognized by the Church for their various ministries.