Nathalie Becquart

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Nathalie Becquart
In Versailles, 2015
EducationHEC Paris, Boston College
Known forAmong first women consultors to a Holy See general secretariat
InstituteCongregation of Xavières
Senior posting
AwardsBBC 100 Women (2022)[1]
Previous postDirector of French Catholic National Service for the Evangelization of Young People and for Vocations
Present postUndersecretary of the Synod of Bishops

Nathalie Becquart, XMCJ (born 1969) is a French Catholic religious sister and member of the Congregation of Xavières. She was appointed a consultor to the Synod of Bishops of the Catholic Church in 2019 and named one of its undersecretaries in 2021. From 2008 to 2018 she oversaw the National Service for the Evangelization of Young People and for Vocations (SNEJV) within the Bishops' Conference of France.

Early life and education[edit]

Nathalie Becquart was born in Fontainebleau in 1969. She graduated from HEC Paris in 1992, with a major in entrepreneurship. She volunteered in Lebanon for a year and then worked for two years as a consultant in marketing-communication.[2]

In 1995 she joined the Congregation of Xavières. After a postulancy in Marseille and two years of novitiate, she went on mission for three years to the national team of Scouts de France, in charge of the Plein Vent program (scouting in working-class neighborhoods). She studied theology and philosophy at the Centre Sèvres (the Jesuit seminary in Paris)[3] as well as sociology at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences.[4]

Youth ministry[edit]

As soon as she joined the Xavières, Becquart began supporting young people within the Ignatian Youth Network (now known as the Magis Network). She was president of the association "Life at sea, entry into prayer" which offers young people spiritual retreats on sailboats and animates many cruise-retreats as skippers or spiritual guides. In her youth she had enjoyed vacations at sea.[5] In 2006, she became responsible for the chaplaincy of students in Créteil. In 2008 the Conference of Bishops of France appointed her deputy director of student pastoral care, and in 2012 director of the national service for the evangelization of young people and for vocations.[6] This led to her involvement in the preparation for the synod of bishops on "Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment", both in France and in Rome where she was appointed general coordinator of the pre-synod of young people in March 2018 and auditor for this Fifteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on young people in October 2018.[7]

Synod of Bishops[edit]

On 24 May 2019, she was appointed, along with four other women and one man, as consultor to the general secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in the Catholic Church. It is the first time for women to be appointed to that position.[8] She saw the appointment as a part of Pope Francis's effort "to implement synodality at every level of the Church’s life" and to benefit from the important contribution that women can make.[9] Becquart proposed a symbolic step of asking a woman to lead the retreat for the Roman Curia one year.[10][11]

On 6 February 2021, Pope Francis appointed her an undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops,[12] making her the first woman to have the right to vote in the Catholic Synod of Bishops.[13]


She is the author of several books:

  • 100 prayers to weather the storm, Paris, Salvator, coll.  "100 prayers", October 2012 (ISBN 978-2706709593) ;
  • The evangelization of young people, a challenge, Paris, Salvator. May 2013 (ISBN 978-2706710209) ;
  • Religious, why? Paris, Salvator, March 2017, 144 p. (ISBN 978-2706714801) ;
  • The spirit renews everything, Paris, Salvator, February 2020.


  1. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2022: Who is on the list this year?". BBC News. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  2. ^ "Nathalie Becquart". Global Sisters Report. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  3. ^ Soeur Nathalie Becquart — KTOTV (in French), 30 January 2012, retrieved 26 February 2020
  4. ^ O'Connell, Gerard (6 February 2021). "For the first time, Pope Francis appoints a woman with the right to vote as undersecretary of the synod of bishops". America. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Navigating the right course | VISION Vocation Network for Catholic Religious Life & Priesthood | English". Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  6. ^ Lesegretain, Claire (24 May 2019). "Sœur Nathalie Becquart nommée au secrétariat général du synode des évêques". La Croix (in French). ISSN 0242-6056. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  7. ^ "A Synod Experience with Sister Nathalie Becquart: Chicago, April 30, 2019". Vidimus Dominum. 8 April 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Synode des évêques : la religieuse française Nathalie Becquart parmi les nouveaux consulteurs". ZENIT - Francais (in French). 24 May 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  9. ^ Lamb, Christopher (24 May 2019). "Pope appoints four women to top Synod jobs". The Tablet. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  10. ^ Jurado, Mada (14 January 2020). "Nun Vatican Synod consultant certain "change will come" on more women in Church leadership". Novena. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  11. ^ Wooden, Cindy (12 January 2020). "Evolving door: New Year may bring new opportunities for women at Vatican". Crux. Catholic News Service. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 06.02.2021" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 6 February 2021. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Nathalie Becquart, première femme à avoir le droit de vote au synode des évêques". Le Monde (in French). 6 February 2021. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
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