A constant
awareness of God
raises us beyond
our tiny selves
to become part of
the heartbeat of the universe.
—Joan Chittister

  • Participants in the JCICS visit Sister Joan's archives at Mercyhurst University.

    Participants in the Joan Chittister Institute for Contemporary Spirituality visit Sister Joan's Archive at Mercyhurst University. Nine women, graduate students or recent graduates in divinity, theology, religion, or related programs, are participating.

  • Participants listen attentively to input from Sister Joan.

    “A Feminist Benedictine Option,” is the topic of the Joan Chittister Institute for Contemporary Spirituality. Participants have a full schedule of input, reading and discussion. The Institute is taking place at Mount St. Benedict Monastery.

  • Joan, Tom Roberts and participants in the JCICS

    Sister Joan and her biographer, Tom Roberts, are surrounded by participants and staff of the Joan Chittister Institute for Contemporary Spirituality. Tom presented his book, Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith.

  • JCICS participants visit the Joan Chittister Archives at Mercyhurst University

    Participants in the Joan Chittister Institute for Contemporary Spirituality look at displays in the Joan Chittister Archive Room at Mercyhurst University.

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

John McCain's funeral
A new column from Joan Chittister: For where you stand, stand up

Sister Joan begins her latest From Where I Stand column by saying, "I haven't been writing much about the state of things in the United States these past months. From where I stand, there simply has been almost nothing really good to say. At least not about U.S. politics." A few paragraphs later, she writes, "Until the funeral …" You can read the entire column, posted on NCRonline, by clicking here.

Sister Joan interviewed by CNN on clergy sex abuse
Sister Joan interviewed by CNN on clergy sex abuse

Sister Joan Chittister was interviewed by CNN: Pope Francis' apologies are not enough, says author and nun Sister Joan Chittister: "It's one thing to sympathize with the victims. ... but it doesn't solve anything. We've been here before." Click here to see interview.

Sister Joan Chittister, OSB
Women Deacons

Joan Chittister was cited as a person whose writings most influenced the thinking of respondents to a recent study released by CARA on ordaining women deacons in the Catholic Church. The study surveyed all 777 leaders of Catholic men and women religious orders in the U.S., and got responses over a four-month period from 385, or just below 50 percent. To read the National Catholic Reporter article, click here.


Joan Chittister Newsletters

One Minute with Joan Chittister

Sep 17, 2018

A Word from Joan

Allow yourself to dream
Sep 24, 2018
The Gift of Years by Joan Chittister

“In a dream you are never eighty,” Anne Sexton wrote.

Whatever happens to the body, what toll age takes on the physical, the spirit does not grow old. In our dreams, in the way we ourselves see ourselves, we are forever becoming. Our dreams are always the vision of a younger self, a self-contained, energetic, self-determining person with a will of steel. Our dreams reveal to us the basic truth of life: years are biological; the spirit is eternal.

Spirituality Resources

A Little Rule for Beginners: Insights into Benedictine Spirituality
A Little Rule for Beginners: Insights into Benedictine Spirituality

New from Joan Chittister

Since she was 16 years old Joan Chittister has had the Rule of Saint Benedict— known as a "little Rule for beginners" —read aloud to her each day, as is the custom in her community. In this artistic and accessible small book, she distills the wisdom of all that listening, choosing one line from each chapter of the Rule and then commenting briefly on the new understanding or new questions about God that it reveals.

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.