WOW People

Alicja Baranowska

Representing Poland, Alicja Baranowska is a Delegate to WOW's Steering Committee and a member of WOW's Communications Task Force.

Alicja Baranowska

Alicja Baranowska

Growing up in a medium sized town in Poland -- the homeland of Pope John Paul II -- Alicja did not hear much about the women’s ordination issue until late. Shortly after her studies she attended a Jesuit academic chaplaincy in Warsaw where she participated in a discussion group. It was then that she discovered the existence of female deacons and apostles in Biblical times. The case of Phoebe, a deacon, made her aware of the fact that women once had important roles in Christian communities and could be called to the sacrament of Holy Orders and services related to them. Only after an article appeared in a Polish catholic weekly “Tygodnik Powszechny” did Alicja realise that she was not alone in such thinkin

She started cooperation with Housetop (currently John Wijngaards Catholic Research Centre),  home of the website womenpriests.org.  There she has contributed translations of academic articles into Polish and for a while wrote a Polish blog. Eventually she became a member of Women’s Ordination Worldwide.

Alicja is graduate both in Public Administration (Bachelor’s) as well as Political Science/International Relations (Master’s Degree). She lives currently in Brussels, Belgium. 

Kate Conmy McElwee

Kate Conmy

Kate Conmy

Kate McElwee, M.A. is one of two Delegates to WOW who come from our member group Women's Ordination Conference (WOC) in the United States, and currently serves on the Leadership Circle.  WOC is the world's oldest and largest national advocacy group working for the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church.  Kate serves as WOC's Co-Executive Director.

Kate earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and a Certificate in Buddhist Studies from Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley Massachusetts, USA, and a Masters degree, with distinction from the School of Oriental and African Studies in (SOAS - University of London) in International Human Rights Law. She currently divides her time between Rome and Washington, D.C. 

(Merlene) Olivia Doko

(Merlene) Olivia Doko

(Merlene) Olivia Doko

(Merlene) Olivia Doko, M.A. is Delegate to WOW's Steering Committee on behalf of Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP - International).  She was ordained a Roman Catholic Womanpriest in July of 2006 and a Womanbishop in 2010.  She founded Olive Tree Ministries In September 1996. Through that ministry she presents leadership-training workshops, directs spiritual retreats and provides spiritual direction for individuals and groups.

Olivia holds an M.A. in Theology in Adult Christian Community Development from Regis University, Denver, and a B.Sc. in Religious Studies from Columbia Pacific University, San Rafael. In October of 1996 she received a certificate in Pastoral Planning from Loyola University, New Orleans. In November of 2002 she received a certificate of completion in the Sacred Art of Dying National Certification Program.

Her professional memberships include Roman Catholic Womenpriests – USA – Western Region, the Ministerial Association of San Luis Obispo of which she is a past president, Spiritual Directors International, Women’s Ordination Conference of which she is a past member of the national board, Women’s Ordination Worldwide of which she is a member of the steering committee, and the Federation of Christian Ministries through which she has been commissioned for ministry in the civil forum.

In addition, Olivia is a Camaldolese Benedictine Oblate at the Immaculate Heart Monastery in Big Sur, California.

Olivia and her husband of 51 years, Slavo Doko, reside in Pismo Beach, CA.  They have two sons, both married, Anthony Doko of Camarillo, CA, and Nicholas Doko of Livermore, CA.  They also have three grandsons.

Miriam Duignan

Miriam Duignan

Miriam Duignan

Miriam Duignan is Delegate for the international organisation womenpriests.org where she currently serves as the Communications Coordinator.  This the world's largest and most authoritative academic resource that explains the case for women's ordination from the points of view of scripture, canon law, human rights, Tradition and theology.

Miriam has been a Delegate to Women's Ordination Worldwide International Steering Committee since 2010 and serves on its Leadership Circle.

Miriam has frequently been featured in the press and news outlet such as the BBC, ABC, The Irish Times, The Independent, 

Dr. Annette Esser

Dr. Annette Esser

Dr. Annette Esser

Dr. Annette Esser currently serves WOW as Delegate to WOW for We Are Church (Germany). The founder and Director of the Scivias Institute for Art and Spirituality in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, Annette studied for her I. und II. Staatsexamen in Catholic theology, Art and Geography (1976-1987), obtained her STM at Union Theological Seminary, New York, 1995 and PhD in Theology, with a dissertation on feminist spirituality, at Radboud University, Nijmegen, 2007.

From 1984 onwards she has had a number of teaching posts including Feminist Theology at Münster University 1989 and Pedagogics of Religion at Aachen University 2003-2004. Following up her special interests, she herself has taken courses in Art Therapy, Bibliodrama and Psychodrama. Since 1987 she has been German co-ordinator, editor and vice-secretary of the "European Society of Women in Theological Research" (ESWTR) and has been involved since 1991 with the NGO Religions for Peace as Leader of the Cologne/Bonn Group, and as a Member of both its German Board and the European Governing Board.

Dr. Esser's publications include:with Luise Schottroff (ed.), Feminist Theology in a European Context, Mainz - Kampen 1993 (Journal of the European Society of Women in Theological Research, Vol. 1); with Anne Hunt Overzee and Susan Roll (ed.); Re-Visioning Our Sources. Women’s Spirituality in European Perspective, Kampen 1997; with Susan Roll and Brigitte Enzer-Probst (ed.); Women, Ritual and Liturgy, Kampen-Louvain 2001 (Journal of the European Society of Women in Theological Research, Vol.9)' with Andrea Gunter and Rajah Scheepers (ed.),  Kinder haben – Kind sein – Geboren sein.  Philosophische und theologische Beiträge zu Kindheit und Geburt, Konigstein/Taunus 2008; with Katharina von Kellenbach; Feminist Approaches to Interreligious Dialogue, Louvain 2009 (Journal of the European Society of Women in Theological Research, Vol. 17) ; with Sylvia Grevel  and Alison Jasper (ed.), Feminist Theology and Visual Arts Louvain 2011 Peeters (Journal of the European Society of Women in Theological Research, Vol. 19). She has also had many articles published on Feminist Theology and Spirituality.

Erin Saiz Hanna

Erin Saiz Hanna

Erin Saiz Hanna

Erin Saiz Hanna currently serves as the co-executive director of WOW's member group, Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC), the world’s oldest and largest national advocacy group working for the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church. As such, she is a one of WOC's two Delegates to WOW. Hanna is a well-known leader in church justice and women’s rights movements. An expert in her field,  she has been featured in many prominent media outlets including the Associated Press, Reuters, the New York Times, the Washington Post, International Tribune, Al Jazeera, ABC World News, and CNN. Her statements following the Vatican’s statement naming women’s ordination the “gravest church crime” led her work to be listed as a Top 10 of 2010 story in Time Magazine. 

 Erin received a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Sociology from Salve Regina University in Newport, RI in 2002. She resides in Massachusetts, USA. 

Therese Koturbash

Therese Koturbash

Therese Koturbash

Currently Serving as WOW's Communications Coordinator, Therese Koturbash has a long history of work as an advocate for women's ordination in the Catholic Church.  Her training was gained 'in the trenches' where she began as a volunteer on the frontlines of womenpriests.org -- the world's largest largest international website that focuses specifically on all aspects of the case for women's ordination. She began her work as Moderator of Circles, an online forum that hosts the opportunity to engage in worldwide dialogue on the issue.  From there she became International Coordinator of womenpriests.org at its headquarters in London, England until now, when she continues to represent the organisation as its International Ambassador.  The group draws on a volunteer network from around the world.

Therese served as the Canadian Delegate to Women's Ordination Worldwide Steering Committee from 2008 to 2013.  For all five of those years, she was elected member of WOW's four person Leadership Circle.  She has also been the National Coordinator of Canada's Catholic Network for Women's Equality.

By trade, Therese is an attorney.  She is currently completing a Masters of Law Degree in Canon Law.  She has been featured in many media outlets including the Associated Press, ABC, CBC, BBC, CTV, Reuters and Huffington Post.

Therese received her Bachelor of Arts in English and History from St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan.  Her Masters of Law Degree is in progress at Heythrop College, University of London in England.

Colm Holmes 

Colm Holmes

Colm Holmes

At the WOW Steering Committee meeting in Krakow (2016) Colm was elected onto the WOW Leadership Circle while also acting as WOW's Treasurer.

Colm is married to Soline Humbert who since the age of 17 has had a vocation to be a priest. Together with Eamonn McCarthy they founded BASIC (Brothers and Sisters in Christ) in 1993. BASIC organised the first WOW International Conference in Dublin in 2001 where Sr Joan Chittister was a keynote speaker despite strong opposition from the Vatican. BASIC commissioned a painting of the 'Last Supper' including women from Polish artist Bohdan Piasecki; prints and cards have been sold worldwide.

BASIC merged into We Are Church (Ireland) in 2012 and Colm is currently on the Core Group of WAC Ireland as well as being the Treasurer of IMWAC (International Movement We Are Church).

Colm is an engineer with an MBA and has worked in development roles with several organisations in the private sector.