Bishop Imesch Women in Church lecture series celebrates 10 years

The University of St. Francis (USF) will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Bishop Joseph L. Imesch Women in the Church Lecture Series with a presentation by an internationally acclaimed Catholic scholar.

Internationally acclaimed Catholic scholar Phyllis Zagano will present "Women Deacons: A Promise of Vatican II" on Thursday, Sept. 18 at the University of St. Francis in Joliet.

Internationally acclaimed Catholic scholar Phyllis Zagano will present “Women Deacons: A Promise of Vatican II” on Thursday, Sept. 18.

Phyllis Zagano, senior research associate-in-residence and adjunct professor of Religion at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., will present “Women Deacons: A Promise of Vatican II” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 in the Sexton Auditorium, Moser Performing Arts Center on the university’s 500 Wilcox St. campus. For information or to RSVP, call 815.740.2272.

The Bishop Joseph L. Imesch Women in Church series was founded 10 years ago by the university to honor of the bishop’s 25th anniversary serving the Diocese of Joliet. Imesch is a long-time supporter of advancing the role of women in the church. Retired in 2006, he now serves as bishop emeritus for the diocese.

The presentation is also a part of the university’s commemoration of 50 years of Vatican II in art, lecture of music: Celebrating a Pilgrim People: The Voices of Vatican II, featuring “The World of Vatican II: An Artist’s Report” by Franklin McMahon exhibit. The McMahon exhibit will run from Sept. 15-Oct. 12 in the university’s art gallery at the Rialto, 5 Van Buren St., in downtown Joliet. For gallery hours or information, call 815-740-3367. For more information about the series of events, call 815-740-5045 or visit

Zagano is a widely-published expert on women in ministry and a former Fulbright Fellow to the Republic of Ireland. She received the 2002 Book Award from the College Theology Society for her book Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church (Crossroad Publishing, NY, 2000) and several Catholic Press Association Awards for her writings, including for” Women & Catholicism: Gender, Communion, and Authority” (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011). Her social justice commentary appears principally in her regular column, “Just Catholic,” which runs in the National Catholic Reporter and in journals across the country and around the world. She received the 2012 Catherine of Siena Distinguished Layperson of the Year Award from Voice of the Faithful and the 2014 Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice from The Paulist Center, Boston.

The University of St. Francis serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in arts and science, business, education, nursing, health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit

Media Inquiries:
Nancy Pohlman, Executive Director of Community Relations
(815) 740-3379 |