Meet Our New Bishops-Elect
This past summer, members of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests made history as they voted and elected to ordain three new women bishops to walk along side our first bishop, Bridget Mary Meehan.
Who are these awesome women?
Mary Eileen Collingwood. She has served for over 40 years in church ministry. With an MA in Theology from St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe, OH, Mary served as Director of Religious Education, Coordinator for Marriage Preparation, Pastoral Associate, Director of the Diocesan Pro-Life Office and on various boards and councils.
Mary and her husband, Rich, continue to be blessed with seven children and are grandparents. Weekly celebration of Eucharist, administering the sacraments, pastoral counseling, and supporting women in ordained ministry is her calling and passion. Mary was ordained a priest in Brecksville, Ohio on May 24, 2014.
Michele Birch-Conery of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She celebrated her 10th anniversary as Canada’s first woman priest on July 25th.
Michele was ordained a deacon in Passau, Germany in 2004 and a priest in 2005 on the St. Lawrence Seaway. A retired professor of English Literature and Women’s Studies with a focus on Women and Religion, she lived and ministered on Vancouver Island with outreach to the LGBTQ Dignity Vancouver community.
In 2013, Michele moved to Windsor where she collaborates with priest Barbara Billey and their Heart of Compassion Faith Communities in Ontario and Michigan.
Olga Lucia Alvarez of Medellin, Colombia. She was educated by the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation. Olga did USEMI Missionary work with indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities and was secretary of CELAM Medellin in 1968. Formation included religious studies, pastoral ministry, higher catechesis superior, liberation theology and an emphasis on popular reading of the Bible.
Olga was ordained a priest in Sarasota, Florida on December 11, 2010. She accompanies several communities and strengthens the ecumenical base primarily of the itinerant.
Olga works with women ex-convicts and ASFADDES (Association of Families of the Disappeared). She is author of several books and articles in biblical-theological reflection and is a member of the Collective of Ecumenical Bible Scholars (CEDEMI).
CELAM stands for Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (http://www.celam.org/introduccion.php), which in English is the Latin American Episcopal Conference (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_American_Episcopal_Conference).
USEMI is Unión Seglar de Misioneros, founded by Mgr. Gerardo Valencia Cano. It was a missionary group that worked throughout the country supporting and defending the rights of the poor and marginalized communities in Colombia, in particular indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.