Joan Chittister

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Joan Chittister
Born (1936-04-26) April 26, 1936 (age 79)
Leet Township, PA, USA
Residence Erie, Pennsylvania
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
Penn State University
Title Roman Catholic nun
Religion Roman Catholicism

Sister Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B. (born 1936)[citation needed] is a Benedictine nun, author[1] and speaker.


A member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania, where she served as prioress for 12 years, Sister Joan is an author and lecturer. She also writes a web column for the National Catholic Reporter, "From Where I Stand". Chittister holds a master's degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in speech communication theory from Penn State University.[2] She was also a research associate of St. Edmund's College, Cambridge University. She writes and speaks on women in the church and society, human rights, peace and justice, religious life and spirituality. A past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, she is co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a UN-sponsored organization creating a worldwide network of women peacemakers.

In 2001, the Vatican forbade her to speak on discipleship at a women’s ordination conference in Ireland. Chittister spoke anyway. Chittister says that women’s ordination has never been her focus. [3]

Penn State University, in State College, PA, opened the Joan D. Chittister Literary Archives in September 2015 and an exhibit of her works will be on display in the Paterno Library through December.


She has authored over 50 books and over 700 articles in numerous journals and magazines including: America, US Catholic, Sojourners, Spirituality (Dublin) and The Tablet (London). She is a regular contributor to and and has appeared on Oprah Winfrey's "Super Soul Sunday" in March 2015 and on "Meet the Press" and "NOW with Bill Moyers." Her latest books, Two Dogs and a Parrot (BlueBridge) and In God's Holy Light (Franciscan Media) were released in September 2015.

She is the executive director of, "Benetvision"[4] a publications ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie.

Recent publications[edit]

The first biography of Sister Joan was released by Orbis Books in October 2015, Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith by Tom Roberts.

Joan Chittister: Essential Writings a compilation of the best from her books, articles and speeches, was published by Orbis Books in August 2014. (ed. Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB, Mary Hembrow Snyder, PhD)

  • Two Dogs and a Parrot, BlueBridge. (2015).
  • In God's Holy Light, Franciscan Media: Cincinnati, OH (2015).
  • Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life, Image Books: Colorado Springs, CO (2015)
  • Our Holy Yearnings, Twenty-Third Publications. (2014)
  • A Passion for Life, (New release) Orbis. (2013)
  • For Everything a Season, (New release of There is a Season), Orbis. (2013)
  • The Way of the Cross, Orbis Books: Maryknoll, NY (2013)
  • The Sacred In-Between, Twenty-Third Publications. (2013)
  • Art of Life, Twenty-Third Publications. (2012)
  • Following the Path: the search for passion, purpose and joy, Random House: New York (2012)
  • Happiness, Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, MI. (2011), Novalis: Toronto, ON. (2011)
  • The Radical Christian Life, Liturgical Press. (2011)
  • The Monastery of the Heart, BlueBridge. (2011)
  • God's Tender Mercy, Twenty-Third Publications: Mystic, CT. (2010), Novalis: Toronto, ON. (2010)
  • The Rule of Benedict: a spirituality for the 21st century, Revised edition, Crossroad Publications (2010)
  • Uncommon Gratitude, Liturgical Press: Collegeville, MN. (2010)
  • The Liturgical Year, Thomas Nelson: Nashville, TN. (2009) ISBN 978-0-8499-4607-3

See also[edit]


External links[edit]