Joan Chittister

Joan Chittister
Born (1936-04-26) April 26, 1936
DuBois, PA, USA
Residence Erie, Pennsylvania
Alma mater University of Notre Dame
Penn State University
Title Roman Catholic nun
Religion Roman Catholicism

Sister Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B. (born April 26, 1936)[1] is a Benedictine nun, author[2] and speaker.


Joan Chittister, OSB is an author and international speaker on subjects of spirituality, peace, religious life and justice for all people, especially women and the poor. She was a prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania for 12 years. She writes a column for the National Catholic Reporter, "From Where I Stand". Chittister holds a master's degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in speech communication theory from Penn State University.[3] She was also a research associate of St. Edmund's College, Cambridge University. A past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, she is co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a UN-sponsored organization creating a worldwide network of women peacemakers.

In 2001, the Vatican forbade her to speak on discipleship at the Women's Ordination Worldwide conference in Dublin. Supported by her religious community, Chittister spoke anyway. Chittister says that women’s ordination has never been her primary focus.[4]

Penn State University holds the Joan D. Chittister Literary Archives.


She has authored over 50 books and over 700 articles in numerous journals and magazines including: America, US Catholic, Sojourners, Spirituality (Dublin) and The Tablet (London). She is a regular contributor to and and has appeared on Oprah Winfrey's "Super Soul Sunday" in March 2015 and on "Meet the Press" and "NOW with Bill Moyers." Her latest books, Two Dogs and a Parrot (BlueBridge) and In God's Holy Light (Franciscan Media) were released in September 2015.

She is the executive director of, "Benetvision"[5] a publications ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie.

Recent publications

The first biography of Sister Joan was released by Orbis Books in October 2015, Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith by Tom Roberts.

Joan Chittister: Essential Writings a compilation of the best from her books, articles and speeches, was published by Orbis Books in August 2014. (ed. Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB, Mary Hembrow Snyder, PhD)


  1. The Encyclopedia of Christian Literature, Volume 2, edited by George Thomas Kurian, James D. Smith III, Scarecrow Press, 2010, p.252.
  2. "NCR Author Profile". NCR. 2010-07-22. Archived from the original on December 21, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-26.
  3. Salai SJ, Sean. "Faith and Justice: 14 Questions for Sister Joan Chittister OSB", America, September 10, 2014
  4. Grossman, Cathy Lynn. "Sister Joan Chittister, the dissident nun, shares her secret life", Religion News Service, October 26, 2015
  5. "Benetvision". Retrieved 2010-12-26.
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