The soul that is full
of music is full of a
freedom that no one
can enslave.
—Joan Chittister

  • Sister Joan speaks at the Communicators for Women Religious Conference

    Sister Joan speaks at the Communicators for Women Religious Conference.

  • Stephanie Hall, CWR Board Member, Sister Joan holding her award from CWR, Nick Schafer, CWR Executive Director.

    Stephanie Hall, CWR Board Member, Sister Joan holding her award from CWR, Nick Schafer, CWR Executive Director.

  • Sister Joan signs a book for participant Gina Ciliberto.

    Sister Joan signs a book for participant Gina Ciliberto.

  • Book sales at the Communicators for Women Religious Conference

    Book sales at the Communicators for Women Religious Conference in Mesa, AZ

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

NCR Column on The Misery of Truth

"There is one more virtue necessary to the stability of the country. And it may well be the one most lacking in this society today. It is truth. Honesty, verity, authenticity and factuality are the underpinnings of good, effective government. But facts alone are not its gold standard," writes Joan Chittister in her latest National Catholic Reporter column on the virtues needed in today's society. Click here to read the full piece. 

NCR Columns on Disavowal and Extremism

NCR COLUMNS:Joan Chittister’s current column series in the National Catholic Reporter, which deals with the unlikely virtues needed for our times, has two new installments: one on disavowal, and one on extremism. Click here to read the piece about promises that should be broken, and here to read about the need to step away from moderation.

Joan Chittister Quoted in Katie Gordon Article

Katie Gordon, the 2019 Joan Chittister Intern and soon-to-be Monasteries of the Heart staff member, references Joan Chittister in an article that appeared in the Harvard Divinity Bulletin (Autumn/Winter 2019). “Beyond the Nones” discusses the search of many millennials for contemplation and spirituality that is drawing them to the monastic charism, but not necessarily institutional religions. Katie, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School in 2019, is a national organizer with Nuns & Nones.


Joan Chittister Newsletters

One Minute with Joan Chittister

Dec 22, 2019

A Word from Joan

Creation from chaos
Jan 21, 2020
The Monastery of the Heart

'When they live by the labor of their hands, then they are really monastics.”

Prayer and contemplation, Benedict is clear, are no substitute for work. Nor are they an excuse to detach ourselves from the holy act of human responsibility for making the world go round. The simple truth is that sloth is not a Benedictine virtue. Work for the sake of hastening the coming of the Reign of God is every bit as much a part of Benedictine life as prayer times and holy reading.

Spirituality Resources

A Time to Weep Lent 2020
A Time to Weep Lent 2020 by Joan Chittister

Lent is a time set aside “to look again at who we are, at where we’re going in life, at how we’re getting to where we say we want to go,” explains Joan Chittister. In A Time to Weep, she urges us to “set our faces like flint” and let nothing deter the Jesus life in us.

$3.50 each includes shipping.

Dear Joan Chittister Conversations with Women in the Church
Dear Joan Chittister Conversations with Women in the Church

In this groundbreaking book, ten young women active in ministry share their thoughts, aspirations, questions and desires with Sister Joan Chittister.... Joan then responds with affirmation and challenge, sharing her wisdom, inspiration and courage with those vitally committed to the church.

The Time Is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage
The Time Is Now by Joan Chittister

world greater than the one we find ourselves in today. This is spirituality in action, this is practical and powerful activism for our times.

What Are You Looking For?
What Are You Looking For? by Joan Chittister

Optimistic yet realistic, What Are You Looking For? is a word of encouragement for anyone who feels called deeper into life with God and others.