Diane Smith Whalen experienced a call to priesthood when she was very young.  She pursued a BA in religious studies, and served as a Jesuit Volunteer. She married, received her MSW, and did social work for a few years before becoming a mother to two beautiful daughters. In 1984, Diane began companioning individuals and groups in spiritual direction and retreat work. She helped develop and staff a program for the formation and ongoing supervision of spiritual directors as well as initiating a group spiritual direction program.  Besides receiving an MA in ministry and a D Min. in spiritual direction, she was active in her local parish, serving as a lector, cantor, teacher/facilitator, and retreat leader. Diane was ordained to the priesthood in 2010. One of her greatest joys is serving Holy Wisdom as a priest. She also enjoys singing, cooking, taking walks, and spending time with her family and friends. Watch her TED Talk here.

Vieda Baker, a native Californian raised Catholic, began her parish work at Holy Name of Jesus Church in L.A. at the age of 13. For over 25 years she served the parish as a Liturgy committee member, Gospel Choir singer, CCD Educator and Sanctuary Designer. Her college career began at Immaculate Heart College School of Music in 1970 after graduating from Immaculate Heart High School. She retired early from Law Enforcement as a Communications Manager in 2005, moved to Oregon to be with her family and returned to Portland State to finish her College Education at the age of 60. She was a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Parish, where she began a  Scripture Study for women. As a Eucharistic Minister, while in Seminary, she began interning as Chaplain at the Portland VA and the Family Promise Shelter. She completed her BA at Portland State University in 2012 , her MDiv from Marylhurst University in 2016 where she first learned of RCWP and shared her call with Rev. Penny Donovan. Vieda’s Ministry Thesis is Hospitality: Working with caretakers of the elderly. The vibrance and energy of the Holy Spirit Wisdom Sophia enables her to see God in every person.

Donna Johnson-Smith felt a call to serve the Church in grade school. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia at the age of 19, where she received both her undergraduate and masters degrees in psychology. She taught grade school for three years, and the rest of the time served in the mental health arena. She left her community in 1985, when she could no longer support the Church’s stances regarding women, divorce, and homosexuality. Donna continued her work in mental Health and got her doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She worked in private practice, spending two days a week with the Quinault and Squaxin Tribes. She retired from her practice in 2017. Two years later, she met her wife, Janis. They have been happily married since 2020. Donna was introduced to Diane Whalen and the Holy Wisdom Community in 2017. With them, she found a new community of faith and love, that fed heart and soul. In July, 2022, she was ordained as a priest with RCWP. She happily serves the community of Holy Wisdom, with Diane Whalen and Vieda Baker. She deeply loves the wonderful community of people that she has found here.

Kathleen Bellefeuille-Rice – Priest Emerita.

Kathleen has felt called to the priesthood since she was seven years old. She received her early formation in radical Catholicism from her time at the Catholic Worker, from working in her large vegetable garden, and from raising her two children. Years of training as a catechist, specializing in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, strengthened her love of scripture, liturgy, sacraments, and celebration. In 2013, she received her Masters in Religious Education from Graduate Theological Foundation. Kathleen was ordained a deacon on November 3, 2012, and a priest on May 31, 2014. She spends her free time doing foot care with homeless people, cooking dinners at a local soup kitchen, working in her vegetable garden, and backpacking with her husband Dave.

For more information about Roman Catholic Women Priests worldwide, click here.

For more information about Roman Catholic Women Priests in the Western Region, click here.