12 December 2013, The Tablet

St Olympias, woman deacon

I agree with my fellow deacon, Barry Taylor’s, call for women permanent deacons (Letters, 7 December). There were many women permanent deacons in the Early Church and one of them was the fourth-century St Olympias, whose feast day is on 25 July. As this was just two days after my own ordination to the permanent diaconate, I included her in the litany of the saints that was recited by a nun as I lay prostrate in front of the sanctuary. When we reached St Olympias’ name in the litany, I prayed for the restoration of the permanent diaconate to women.(The Rev. Deacon) Michael D. Phelan, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire In rural England, women parishioners keep the historic Anglican churches organised and going, some with one pastor to nine churches, or more. It would be wonderful if
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