At FemCatholic, we believe that women are the greatest untapped resource in the Church, and that women’s gifts and leadership are essential to the Church’s flourishing. To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting 100 women who currently serve in the Catholic Church across the United States. They lead at every level of the Church from their local parishes and schools to their dioceses, and even nationally at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

We agree with Pope Francis that “the feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions” as a Church. These women have a seat at the table and their voices are heard in the Church. May they be a witness and inspire other women to rise up in leadership, too.

Diocesan Leaders

These women work formally for the Catholic Church’s hierarchy in dioceses, which lead geographic groups of parish church communities.

Emily Ahlin

Director of Archives
Diocese of Cleveland

Katie Dawson

Director of Parish Evangelization and Faith Formation
Diocese of Orange

Casey Bustamante Lee

Director of Young Adult Ministry
Archdiocese of the Military Services

Marie Rubis-Bauer

Director of Archdiocesan Music
Archdiocese of Omaha

Sarah Yaklic

Chief Digital Officer
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Margaret Graff

General Counsel
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Suzanne Hueston

General Counsel
Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Therese Bermpohl

Executive Director for the Office of Marriage, Family, and Respect Life
Diocese of Arlington

Meghan Cokeley

Director of the Office of the New Evangelization
Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Marie Kenyon

Director of Peace and Justice Commission
Archdiocese of St. Louis

Betsy Bohlen

Chief Operating Officer
Archdiocese of Chicago

Cecelia A. Colbert, CPA

Chief Financial Officer
Diocese of Dallas

Angela Laville, CPA

Chief Financial Officer
Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph

Bonni H Shippee

Chief Operating Officer
Diocese of Albany

Ellen Mady

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Michelle Peduto

Director of Catholic Schools
Diocese of Pittsburgh

Meredith Cook, Esq

Diocese of Manchester

Eileen Magdalen Ross, JCL

Director of Canonical Affairs, Judge
Diocese of Dallas

Jeanne Marie Miles

Director of Worship
Diocese of Dallas

Claire E. Breaux, JCL

Tribunal Director
Diocese of Baton Rouge

Katie Perata

Executive Director and Superintendent
Diocese of Sacramento

Jeanne Gearon

Superintendent of Schools
Diocese of Burlington

Melanie B. Palmisano, PhD

Diocese of Baton Rouge

Sabrina Vrooman, CPA

Chief Financial Officer
Diocese of Beaumont

Patricia Rudea

Diocese of El Paso

Lytia Reese

Diocese of Raleigh

Amy Daniels

Executive Director, Evangelization and Discipleship
Diocese of Raleigh

Social Ministry Leaders

These women lead organizations that provide social services to those in need, in partnership with the Catholic Church.

Sister Rosemary Connelly, RSM


Stephanie Wilson

Clinical Director
Catholic Charities

Sally Blount

President and Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Charities Chicago

Social Justice Leaders

These women lead organizations that address the needs of those on the margins or in underserved populations, in partnership with the Catholic Church.

Sara Larson

Executive Director
Awake Milwaukee

Anna Carter

Co-Founder and President
Eden Invitation

Shannon Ochoa

Co-Founder and Director of Community Care
Eden Invitation

Mary Novak

Executive Director
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

Leaders in Evangelization

These women lead organizations that share the Gospel, educate on the Church’s teachings, and train others to serve as leaders.

Olga Lucia Villar

Executive Director
Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI)

Krysthell Castillo

Coordinator of Pastoral Juvenil Hispana
Diocese of Birmingham

Colleen Hadsall

Mission Supervisor
St. Paul’s Outreach

Rebecca Rathbone

Youth Officer
Caritas Internationalis - Rome

Brenda Noriega

Young Adult Empowerment Team Member for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
Representative on the Youth Consultative Body for the Dicastery of Laity and Family Life

Pattie Gallinaro

Girls ECYD Director

Luanne Zurlo

General Partner and Executive Director
Seton Education Partners

Sherry Weddell

Co-Founder and Executive Director
Catherine of Siena Institute

Rachel Harkins Ullmann

Executive Director
The GIVEN Institute

Parish Leaders

These women serve in leadership roles at Catholic churches.

Cassie Schutzer

Communications and Young Adult Ministry Coordinator
St. Thomas More, Diocese of Raleigh

Peggy Tacchino

Director of New Evangelization and Catechetical Ministries
St. Vincent de Paul, Archdiocese of San Diego

Cheryl Archibald

Parish Life Coordinator
St. Matthew the Apostle, Archdiocese of St. Louis

Katie Jansen Larson

Parish Administrator
St. Francis Xavier College Church, Archdiocese of St. Louis

Ann Sheridan

Pastoral Administrator
St. Francis Xavier, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph

Catholic University Leaders

These women lead universities, or institutes that promote Catholic thought within a university.

Ann Firth 

Vice President and Chief of Staff to the President 
University of Notre Dame

Kim Daniels

Co-Director, Georgetown Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life
Member of Vatican Dicastery for Communication

Julie H. Sullivan, PhD

Santa Clara University

Sandra Cassady, PhD

Rockhurst University

Tania Tetlow, JD

Fordham University

Colleen Hanycz, PhD

Xavier University

Annie Selak, PhD

Associate Director
Women’s Center at Georgetown University

Theologians and University Theology Department Chairs

These women serve as professors at Catholic universities and seminaries, as writers advancing theological thought, and as department chairs.

Deborah Savage, PhD

Professor of Theology, University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN)
Co-Founder and Director, Siena Symposium for Women, Family, and Culture

Jessica Murdoch, PhD

Assistant Professor
Villanova University

Kristin Colberg, PhD

Associate Professor
College of St. Benedict and St. John's University

Christine Firer Hinze, PhD

Professor and Chair of Theology Department
Fordham University

Angela Franks, PhD

Professor of Theology
St. John Seminary

Kimberly Vrudny, PhD

Professor and Chair of Theology Department
University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN)

Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, PhD

Professor and Chair of Theology Department
Bellarmine University

Susan Wessel, PhD

James H. and Mary F. Moran Professor of the History of Early Christianity
Area Director of Church History 
Catholic University of America

Donna Teevan, PhD

Chair and Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
Seattle University

Nancy Pineda-Madrid

Associate Professor and T. Marie Chilton Chair of Catholic Theology
Loyola Marymount University

Leaders at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

These women lead within the governing body of the Catholic bishops in the United States.

Danielle Brown, Esq

Associate Director
Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism

Theresa Ridderhoff

Associate General Secretary

Lauren McCormack

Executive Director
Religious Liberty and Marriage Issues
Government Relations

Michelle Gress

Pro–Life and Catholic Education Issues
Government Relations

Julie Bodnar

Policy Advisor
Justice, Peace, and Human Development
Office of Domestic Social Development

Jill Rauh

Director of Education and Outreach
Justice, Peace, and Human Development
Office of Education and Outreach

Sister Stephanie Still, PBVM

Executive Director
National Religious Retirement Office

Chieko Noguchi

Director of Public Affairs

Mary Pat Donaghue

Executive Director
Secretariat of Catholic Education

Mar Munoz-Visoso

Executive Director
Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church

Siobhan Verbeek, JCD

Director, Canonical Affairs
Committee of Doctrine

Rachel Pollock

Director of Resettlement Services
Committee of Migration

Lindsay Shah

Director of Children’s Services
Committee of Migration

Mary Mencarini Campbell

Executive Director
Committee on National Collections

Religious Sisters in Leadership 

These women are vowed religious sisters who serve in leadership roles.

Sister Mary Bendyna, OP

Executive Director
Council of Major Superior of Women Religious

Sister Mary Haddad, RSM

President and Chief Executive Officer
The Catholic Health Association of the United States

Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD

President and Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Charities USA

Sister Carol Zin, SSJ, PhD

Executive Director
Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Sister Rose Marie Timmer, RSM, JCL

Diocese of Toledo

Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ

Leading Advocate Against Capital Punishment

Sister Norma Pimentel, MJ

Executive Director
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley

Sister Barbara Reid, OP, PhD

Catholic Theological Union

Leaders In Politics

Montse Alvarado

Vice President and Executive Director
Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Mary Rice Hasson, PhD

Catholic Women’s Forum

Mary Hallan FioRito

Cardinal Francis George Fellow
Ethics and Public Policy Center

Leaders in Business

Carolyn Y. Woo, PhD

Author of Rising: Learning from Women’s Leadership in Catholic Ministries 
Distinguished President’s Fellow for Global Development
Purdue University

Jennifer Baugh

Founder and Executive Director
Young Catholic Professionals

Pia de Solenni, SThD

President and Executive Director
Global Institute of Church Management

Kerry Alys Robinson

Leadership Roundtable

Leaders in Catholic Media

Kerry Weber

Executive Editor 
America Magazine

Therese L. Ratliff

Director and Chief Executive Officer
Liturgical Press

Karey Circosta

Publisher and Chief Executive Officer
Ave Maria Press

Cynthia Nickless

Founder and Executive Director
The Presence Radio Network

Canon Lawyers

Kelly O’Donnell, JCD

Amanda Zurface, JCL

This list is only a snapshot of women in leadership in the Catholic Church. Know a woman we should feature in an upcoming article? Send us a tip at

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Victoria Mastrangelo

Educational Content Producer, 2019-present

Victoria Mastrangelo is a wife, mother of 3 girls, and high school campus minister at an all-girls’ school in Houston, TX. She is super nerdy and loves reading multiple books at once, trivia, podcasts, writing, and great coffee. She has a B.A. in Theology from the University of Dallas and an M.A. in Theological Studies from the University of St. Thomas (Houston). Being surrounded by so many awesome young women grows her passion for Catholic feminism daily. Her search for truth and beauty led her to a profound love of Christ, His Church, and the feminine genius. Victoria hopes that FemCatholic continues to inspire conversations and inspire women to find that same love for Christ, the Church, and their unique way of living our their feminine genius.

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