Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith

Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith

From prize-winning journalist Tom Roberts, an intimate biography of Joan Chittister— Benedictine nun and writer, a leading voice for spiritual renewal, a prophetic champion of peace and justice, a champion of the role of women in the church and the world.Joan Chittister Her Journey for Certainty to Faith

Journalist Tom Roberts is editor-at-large for the National Catholic Reporter, where he has worked for the past 20 years. Previously he worked for 10 years as news editor at the Religion News Service. His previous Orbis book, The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community’s Search for Itself, won the Religious Newswriters’ Association Book Award, as well as two Catholic Press Association awards. He lives in metropolitan Washington, DC.

Listen to Tom Roberts talk about his experience writing this book.

Learning to open
the heart
requires first that
we open our lives.
Hospitality of the
heart is what makes
the world a tender and
lovely place to be.
—Joan Chittister

  • Joan Chittister delivers keynote at CTA

    More than 1,100 hear Joan's CTA keynote in addition to an online audience who viewed it live-streamed.

  • Joan Chittister delivers keynote at CTA

    Joan Chittister delivers keynote at Call to Action 2015

  • Sister Joan Chittister delivers keynote at PSU Symposium

    Joan Chittister delivers keynote at Penn State University's Sister Joan Chittister Symposium: Ancient Traditions, Contemporary Questions

  • Joan Chittister in conversation

    Joan Chittister in conversation at the PSU Symposium

Joan Chittister is an outspoken advocate of justice, peace and equality — especially for women world-wide — and has been one of America’s visionary spiritual voices for more than 30 years.

On this website you can explore what makes her a beloved and best-selling author, a soul-stirring speaker, and a gifted spiritual guide.

As a Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania, Joan Chittister has focused her life’s work on the development of contemporary spirituality, a redefinition and renewal of Benedictine life for seekers today, and justice for the oppressed and marginalized, particularly those in prison. Here are four Good Works that reflect her life commitments:

What's New

Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life by Joan Chittister
February 2016 Book of the Month

U.S. Catholic magazine has chosen Between the Dark and the Daylight by Joan Chittister as its February 2016 Book Club selection. The book is featured in its magazine and its website with a short review of the book available by clicking here.

Gold Illumination Award

Joan Chittister: Her Journey From Certainty to Faith by Tom Roberts was awarded a GOLD Illumination Award by Independent Publisher in the Biography category. The Illumination Awards are intended to celebrate and recognize the exemplary books produced by the ever-growing Christian branch of publishing and bookselling. To read the list of all award winners, click here.

Joan Chittister: Her Journey From Certainty to Faith by Tom Roberts
Force of Nature

“Joan Chittister is a force of nature whose embrace of monastic life has reshaped that institution” is how feminist theologian Mary E. Hunt begins her insightful review of Joan Chittister’s biography for Christian Feminism Today. To read the review, click here.

Joan Chittister Newsletters

A Word from Joan

Blessing of internal noise
Feb 1, 2016
Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life by Joan Chittister

“Remember, Joan, you can’t ever really run away from anything,” my mother taught me. “In the end, you only take yourself with you.” At that age, I thought the words were simply a trick of language. Maybe an outworn kind of witticism. It took years before I realized what she had not said, what she had failed to tell me, had instead allowed me to find out for myself. By that time I didn’t need to have someone else explain it to me.

Spirituality Resources

Joan Chittister Lent 2016
Mercy Misericordia Joan Chittister Lent 2016

In keeping with the Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis, Joan Chittister reflects on each Sunday of Lent in Mercy, Misericordia Joan Chittister Lent 2016. In addition to Sister Joan’s words, this small but weighty 10-paneled pamphlet includes a weekly quote by Pope Francis, an art lectio reflection, an invitation to action, and a mantra. $3 each includes shipping and handling.

Two Dogs and a Parrot: What Our Animal Friends Can Teach Us About Life
Joan Chittister: Two Dogs and a Parrot

Whether we have an animal companion, long to have a pet or love someone who does, or cherish animals and nature, Two Dogs and a Parrot will speak to us all. It illuminates the significance of sharing our lives with a pet and celebrates the great gift of animals in our world. See the video of Joan and her standoff with pet bird, Lady.

Here's an invitation for you: Sister Joan has created a special “Two Dogs and a Parrot” and wants you to post a picture of your pet (or you and your pet!) and tell us what your pet has taught you. Click here to see the gallery and share your picture and memory.

The Monastic Way 2016...
The Monastic Way 2016 by Joan Chittister

pairs Joan Chittister with some of history's great figures— lay and religious, male and female, Christian and non-Christian — who have stretched the very soul of humanity. Each month you can meet one of them in a vibrant and stunning monthly publication that will stretch your soul, too. Let heroes such as Gandhi, Teresa of Avila, Etty Hillesum, Rumi, accompany you through the year. Artist Marcy Hall contributes to this masterpiece that will inspire you all year.

Join Joan on European River Cruise
Join Joan Chittister on European River Cruise

Sign up now for an April 2016 river cruise through Belguim and Holland with Joan Chittister. In addition to talks by Sister Joan, you will enjoy the spectacular tulip carpets in Keukenhof Gardens, visit Anne Frank’s home in Amsterdam and explore the medieval cities of Antwerp and Ghent. Download a brochure here.

When registering please list the host as BENETVISION with the
host ID # 56281.

Benetvision STORE

One of the many ways Benetvision pursues its mission as a research and resource center for contemporary spirituality is through a store where Joan Chittister’s books, newsletters, and recorded teachings are available for sale. When you buy from the Benetvision store, the proceeds help support the work of Sister Joan and her Benedictine community.