Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith

Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith

PRE-ORDER NEW BIOGRAPHY NOW. Ships end of September
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.

Like an old tree,
the scars
we bear in life
are the measure
of our growth.
—Joan Chittister

  • Anne presents book to Pope

    A book by Joan Chittister, Essential Writings, was presented to Pope Francis by Sister Anne McCarthy during a private audience. She was in Rome for a dialogue between Buddhists and Catholics, “Dialogue and Fraternity.” Read more in What's New.

  • Joan Chittister receives the Edward C. Doll Community Service Award

    Sister Joan received the Edward C. Doll Community Service Award from the Erie Community Foundation. Listen to her keynote.

  • Sister Joan receives Fund for Prisoners check.

    Michael Batchelor, ECF president, presents checks to Sisters Mary Lou Kownacki, Joan, and Anne Wambach, prioress, for the Fund for Prisoners and community ministries.

  • Sisters join Joan at ECF award dinner

    Sisters Charlotte Zalot, Marilyn Schauble, Maureen Tobin, Mary Miller, Joan Chittister, Mary Ellen Plumb, Anne McCarthy, Sue Doubet, Anne Wambach and Mary Lou Kownacki celebrate the ECF award.

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

Trip to Iran

As part of a small goodwill delegation to Iran, Joan Chittister met with leading religious leaders there to build spiritual bridges. Sister Joan shares her experiences, in a recent online column, "Two paths to peace: the secular and the sacred."

The Monastic Way September
Let Nothing Frighten

What can we learn from our fears? is one of the questions that Joan Chittister explores in the September 2015 issue of The Monastic Way, her monthly reflection paper. Joan’s insights into fear play on this quote from Goethe: “When we return to real trust in God there will be no room in our soul for fear.” To subscribe to a print or online copy of The Monastic Way, click below.

The Guardian
Guardian Column

A reader alerted us to the fact that Sister Joan was mentioned in a column by Oliver Burkeman that appeared in The Guardian, a British weekly newspaper.


Joan Chittister Newsletters

A Word from Joan

The Gift of Fear
Aug 31, 2015
The Monastic Way by Joan Chittister

Fear is a gift of God. Which is sometimes hard to remember when we are in the grip of it. Who hasn’t known it? Fear. Cold, clammy, raw fear. In the pit of the stomach. In the sweat on the palms of the hands. Of all the emotions experienced by average human beings in situations of risk—near death, flying, heights, failure, darkness, pain and public speaking—few human responses have been studied more than fear.

Spirituality Resources

Joan Chittister 2016 Calendar: A Fire in Their Hearts
Joan Chittister 2016 Calendar: A Fire in Their Hearts

Throughout history great figures – lay and religious, male and female, Christian and non-Christian-have stretched the very soul of humanity. In the 2016 Joan Chittister Calendar you can meet some of them. Let heroes such as Gandhi, Teresa of Avila, Etty Hillesum, Rumi, accompany you through the year. A quote by Joan Chittister echoes the quote and painting of a “saint” that appears each month. Artist Marcy Hall joins Sister Joan in creating this masterpiece that will inspire you all year.

Joan Chittister: Two Dogs and a Parrot
Joan Chittister: Two Dogs and a Parrot

Two Dogs and a Parrot: What Our Animal Friends Can Teach Us About Life
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. Available mid-October

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.

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.