Distinguished Women 2021-2

Before the National Triennial Meeting of Episcopal Church Women, held in conjunction with the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, each diocese is invited to nominate a Distinguished Woman to be honored at a special luncheon during the Convention.

Our Province VIII Distinguished Women are honored during our annual meeting and on our website, and each will receive a commemorative pin.

We congratulate them all for their example, leadership, and mentorship.


Canon Cathy Black

Province VIII – Diocese of Arizona

Canon Cathy Black is a cradle Episcopalian and native Arizonan. She is a past president of the ECW at All Saints’ Church and Day School in Phoenix, Arizona.

Currently she is the Canon for Administration in the Bishop’s Office of the Diocese of Arizona where she was also the Bishop’s Assistant until just recently as she is preparing to retire.

She has served faithfully on the bishop’s staff since 2004. Cathy is currently a member of Christ Church of the Ascension in Paradise Valley where she is an active member of the church choir. She has been the heart, memory, and wisdom of the Diocesan Office in Arizona.

She has been the person people call, turn to, cry with, laugh with, vent to, and ask for help. In all these ways and more, she is a very Distinguished Woman of Arizona!

Gerry Chartrand

Province VIII – Diocese of El Camino Real

Gerry grew up in the farm country of Davis, California. She has served her community as an educator, as a reading specialist, an Associate Superintendent of Educational Services and a professor in the College of Education at San Jose State University.

In her parish and greater community, she has served as Senior Warden, a member of the Order of St. Luke, is a leader of ECW and anchors the jail ministry team.  She helped launch the Hope Inside/Out ministry as the board president which serves recently released inmates.

Sandra Leialoha

Province VIII – Diocese of Hawai’i

A member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Honolulu. Very active on the parish level, diocesan level and active member of Hawai’i ECW.

Currently, she is the CPC Representative for Hawai’i. Sandy has also represented Hawaii as a delegate to ECW Triennial meetings.

Rev. Canon Mary Crist, Ed.D

Province VIII – Diocese of Los Angeles

The Diocese of Los Angeles ECW has chosen The Rev. Canon Mary Crist, Ed.D., as their Distinguished Woman for Triennial 2022.  She qualifies for this honor in numerous ways.

Her work has enriched and benefitted people through her initiative, leadership, educational passion, selfless service, and creativity in delivering the good news of the gospel message.

Canon Mary Crist’s guiding and determined ministry at St. Michael’s Episcopal Ministry Center in Riverside has revived a closed church which now provides needed services to the underserved and homeless in the Riverside community while nurturing the message of commitment to those most vulnerable.

She accomplished the huge task of raising funds and working with the city to build low-income housing on the St. Michael’s grounds, realizing the shared goals of providing housing for the city’ s homeless population and re-purposing church land for the city’s public needs and the church’s commitment to service.

Named Indigenous Theological Coordinator at General convention in 2018 for her work assisting the development and implantation of Indigenous curricula and the Doctrine of Discovery workshops, Mary inspires us in so many ways, with her pride in her heritage and  as  an articulate voice to the ministry of the indigenous peoples..

Rose Mary Kinale

Province VIII – Diocese of Nevada

Rose Mary Kinale is a priest in the Diocese of Nevada.  She is a native Paiute woman. Rose Mary is very involved in the Diocese and the national church.

She is a member of the Standing Committee; serves on the Galilee Camp and Conference Board; member of the Episcopal History Project Board; Acting Director of Mountain and Deserts Native Churches; Path’s Crossing; Province 8 Convener for Indigenous Ministry; Wintertalk.

Rose Mary states: “As an Indigenous Native American woman, a mother, and a grandmother, it is women who carry a major responsibility in the individual lives of their families and church. We maintain a healthy home lifestyle especially with church participation. As a Priest, it is my duty to be involved and spread God’s message to all I encounter and not be judgmental or prejudiced as well as to serve with love to all.” Rose Mary is incredibly involved with her church and the Diocese of Nevada and serves to the best of her ability.

Rose Mary also believes in and practices the 5 Marks of Mission and feels a strong bond to the efforts of the Diocese of Nevada.

Jo Elaine Martin

Province VIII – Diocese of Oregon

Jo Elaine Martin shares her faith foundation received as a 10-year-old: “Lay people from a Mennonite local church gathered after their service to all who wished to hear about our Lord and Savior. My God is a kind and wonderful person who will love me until we meet one day.

“I am blessed that those lessons of so many years ago are my foundation still and forever.”

Born on Easter Day, and baptized in the Episcopal Church as a teenager, she was a 40-year member of St. Thomas Church, Dallas, Oregon, faithfully serving her parish as President of the Altar Guild, Senior Warden, Lay Reader and Licensed Eucharistic Minister.

Jo eventually accepted the call to the Diocesan ECW Board as a member-at-large, particularly sharing her ministry with Rahab’s sisters located in Portland Oregon—a community-creating radical hospitality ministry with those marginalized in poverty. Elected President of the Diocese of Oregon ECW Board in 2016 she remains in that position.

Presently living in the seaside village of if Waldport, Jo is a member of St. Luke’s by the Sea and still very involved in her church and community.

Sandra Ann Bedard

Province VIII – Diocese of San Diego

Sandra Bedard was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1940. She was raised Episcopalian from age six, First Communion/Confirmation age 12.

Member, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Diocese of El Camino Real – 35 years. Member, ECW at St Andrews: Guild Meetings, Thrift Store volunteer. Other volunteering: Sunday School Teacher, Room Mother, PTA, Little League Team Mother, Brownie/Girl Scout Leader.

From 2000 on in Ramona, CA, attended St. Mary’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church: ECW WOSM President 9 times, Chair: international prayer quilt group – Prayers & Squares, Choir, Altar & Flower Guilds, Chalice Bearer, Children’s Theater, Bible Studies, Annual Bazaar, Silent Auction, Chili Cook-Off, Pancake Breakfast, Quiche making, Youth Ministry, ECW Convention Delegate several times, Triennial Delegate twice. Received two grants for church irrigation and plants.

Sandra is called by God to serve. Sandra always has a smile and kind word for everyone. Anytime volunteers are requested, she steps up. Sandra is a wonderful friend, extremely hardworking, and is well deserving of the title: Episcopal Church Women Distinguished Woman.