New eRetreat from Sister Joan: Gifts of a Scarred Soul

Sister Joan Chittister

Who hasn’t experienced a struggle that seemed insurmountable? A brokenness of soul that seemed crushing? Each of us has stories of pain and grief, depression and despair, hopelessness and sorrow. Some of them we survived well. Some of them we didn’t.

Joan Chittister will provide tools to help you analyze your own stories of struggle in this eRetreat at Spirituality & Practice. She will suggest the gifts that each struggle can give as you move toward hope and transformation. "Most of us live everyday between struggle and hope," she writes, "and the way we deal with struggle has something to do with the very measure of the self, with the whole issue of what it is to be a spiritual person."


Love that is real,
love that engages
the soul,
is a glimpse into the
eternal love of God.
—Joan Chittister

  • Joan Chittister and Cokie Roberts in conversation

    Cokie Roberts and Joan Chittister in Conversation at Mercyhurst University. Read more.

  • Sister Joan participates in Womens March

    Sister Joan participates in the Women’s March in Erie on January 21, joining over 3 million women worldwide in an extraordinary demonstration of solidarity for women’s rights.

  • Sister Joan Chittister BBC radio interview

    BBC journalist Clare Balding interviews Joan for her radio show Good Morning Sunday with Clare Balding on January 15, 2017 from London

  • Joan Chittister Reader's Retreat 2016

    The book for this year's Reader's Retreat with Joan Chittister, Two Dogs and a Parrot, featured Joan's pet, Lady.

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.

Joan Chittister, a Benedictine Sister of Erie, has dedicated her life to voicing questions that test popularly accepted truths of the day. Her questions to both church and society focus on the empowerment of women, 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

Statue of Liberty
Make America, America Again

In Sister Joan's most recent NCR column she writes, "There's a pall hanging over the country these days. And it's everywhere. It colors every news article, of course....Worse, the depression infects our spiritual DNA, as well: What is truth anymore? What is fact now?" Click here to read the entire post which ends with a quote from Dorothy Day: "No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do."

Online Excerpt from Radical Spirit

An excerpt from Joan Chittister’s new book, Radical Spirit, printed in the May/June issue of Spirituality & Health is now available online. Click here to read.

Joan Chittister
NCR Column: Potential Loss of Democracy

Joan's most recent column in NCR,entitled "The Nuclear Option and the Potential Loss of Democracy," begins with these words: Don't be confused. This column is not about the Supreme Court. This column is about leadership of the democratic system. And its lack. In the Senate. Click here to read it in its entirety.

Joan Chittister Newsletters

A Word from Joan

Struggle transforms us
Jun 19, 2017
Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope by Joan Chittister

When we find ourselves immersed in struggle, we find ourselves trafficking in more than the superficial, more than the mundane. That’s why maturity has very little to do with age. That’s why wisdom has more to do with experience that it does with education. We begin to feel in ways we could never feel before the struggle began. Before a death of someone I myself have loved, someone else’s grief is a simple formality. We don’t know what to say and we don’t know why we’re saying it because we never needed to have someone say it to us.

Joan Chittister Book Club

An opportunity to read, reflect on, and discuss one of Joan Chittister’s books with other spiritual companions. Three times a year a new Joan Chittister book will be featured with reviews, impact stories from readers, videos on the books from Sister Joan, excerpts and inspiring quotes from the book. You are encouraged to join a two-week online discussion of the book that will be part of this ongoing feature.

Spirituality Resources

Live Radically, Love Faithfully Video on Demand from Joan Chittister
Sister Joan Chittister, Live Radically, Love Faithfully

What is your role as a Christian in today's world? Joan Chittister suggests that what’s needed is for followers of Jesus to become freelance thinkers, public intellectuals, average people who live the gospel faithfully and radically. She then lists eight traits of the public intellectual and analyzes the potential impact faithful followers like you could have on the issues of the day.
60-day rental, $25
Originally presented at the 2015 Call to Action Conference
Click to read more and VIEW a preview

NEW BOOK: Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life
Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life by Joan Chittister

New book from Joan Chittister: Radical Spirit

Feeling burnt-out from life, strung-out from social media, and put out by a society that always wants more from you? Beloved nun and social activist Joan Chittister, who appeared on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, offers a practical, character-building, and inspirational guide to help you take control of your emotional life and redirect your spiritual destiny.

Listen to Sister Joan talk about Radical Spirit in this video.

Women and Moral Leadership
Joan Chittister Women and Moral Leadership

Now on DVD or Video on Demand
We live at a time when authority is in question, patriarchy remains, and women have the gifts we need—according to Joan Chittister. "Women and Moral Leadership" is an hour long presentation in which Sister Joan examines our concepts of leadership: where they come from, how they have evolved and why women are desperately needed now in all levels of leadership.

"Women and Moral Leadership" was first presented as a Joan Chittister webinar in 2016.

DVD $35 plus shipping and handling ORDER HERE
View a trailer and/or purchase a 60-day rental for $35 CLICK HERE

Join Joan on Lands of the Bible 2017 Mediterranean Cruise
Join Joan on Lands of the Bible 2017 Mediterranean Cruise

Visit the “Lands of the Bible” with Joan Chittister on an October 16-28, 2017, cruise that will take you to Turkey, Greece, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Sister Joan will give brief talks on “World Religions” during the cruise. Enter host Benetvision and ID 56281 on the registration form. Download a brochure here.

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.