I wanted to let you know that my last day with the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) will be tomorrow, August 23rd. I have accepted a position of Director of Philanthropy back in my home state of Rhode Island in the education of young women and girls field.
Let me begin by saying what a privilege it has been to serve this organization for the last 9+ years. When I started at WOC under my predecessor, Aisha Taylor, I was 27, and less than two weeks after I took the job, our office burned down to the ground. (Do you remember that?!?) I often reflect this ministry was truly baptism by fire from the start!
What I learned quickly was that WOC members are strong, resilient, kind, optimistic, and remarkably generous. WOC members emptied their pockets to rebuild WOC and I was deeply moved by their compassion. Throughout the years, members became my friends and WOC became a home. From your creative actions to your inspiring liturgies, you have helped me grow into the person I am today. What a honor and gift it has been to walk beside you in this prophetic work. You will continue to inspire me every day.
While I am truly proud of the many accomplishments during my tenure here, I am deeply aware that it is this collective sisterhood that has carried WOC to the powerful, prophetic and visionary place it is today. WOC’s success lies in the passion of our activists, our Board, staff, and great collaborative work of our partners in the church-justice movement. I believe WOC has and will continue to change the landscape for women in the Roman Catholic Church.
I would like to especially thank current Co-Executive Director, Kate McElwee, for all her support, creativity, tenacity, and inspiration over the last several years working together. I also would like to thank our Office Manager, Carol Johnson, and our National Board of Directors. WOC has a strong team in place and I am confident that together they will continue to grow WOC in new and exciting ways.
I extend my tremendous gratitude for your understanding during what may feel like an abrupt departure. As some know, my mom recently and very suddenly passed away. This professional transition is part of larger personal transition of needing to be closer and more available to my family during this difficult time. Our staff and Board of Directors are moving with efficiency to navigate the transition with minimal disruption to WOC’s action work.
With transition comes new energy, ideas and innovation, and I’m truly excited to see what is in store for WOC next. Thank you for the opportunity and pleasure of working with you all.
With every blessing,
Erin Saiz Hanna