Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB

Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania, international lecturer, and award-winning author.

Joan Chittister has been one of the Catholic church’s key visionary voices and spiritual leaders for more than thirty years. A Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania, Sister Joan is an international lecturer and award-winning author of more than 40 books.

She is the founder and executive director of Benetvision ( a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality located in Erie. Currently she serves as co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a partner organization of the UN, facilitating a worldwide network of women peace builders, particularly in Israel and Palestine.

Her latest book, Monasteries of the Heart, published in the spring of 2011, is part of a program she is helping to develop to enable lay groups to live Benedictine spirituality in a contemporary way.

Her best selling 2008 book, The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully, won Sr. Joan her 9th Catholic Press Association award. Her latest publications include: Uncommon Gratitude, co-written with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life, part of an eight-volume series organized by Phyllis Tickle.

In January 2011 she took part in Michael Dowd’s web interview series, “Evolutionary Christianity.” She has also been a presenter in three of the National Conferences sponsored by the Trinity Institute.

Sister Joan writes a regular web column, “From Where I Stand,” for the National Catholic Reporter and has received numerous awards and recognition for her work for justice, peace, and equality, especially for women in the Church and in society.

Sister Joan received her doctorate from Penn State University in speech-communication theory and was an invited fellow and research associate at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University. She was prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie for 12 years.

Other recent books by Joan Chittister:

The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century, Crossroad, 2010
God’s Tender Mercy: Reflections on Forgiveness, Twenty-Third Publ. 2010
The Breath of the Soul: Reflections on Prayer, Twenty-Third Publ. 2009
Welcome to the Wisdom of the World: And its Meaning for You, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2007
In Search of Belief, Triumph Books, 2006
The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Hope and Peace for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, Waskow, Chittister, Chishti, Beacon Press, 2006
The Friendship of Women: The Hidden Tradition of the Bible, BlueBridge, 2006
Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir, Sheed & Ward, 2005.

past cathedral appearances