Joan D. Chittister

Sister Joan Chittister is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, author, spiritual writer, and peace and justice advocate. She is Executive Director of Benetvision: A Resource and Research Center for Contemporary Spirituality, former Benedictine prioress (Erie, Pennsylvania), and past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

The author of some 20 books, including Wisdom Distilled from the Daily, WomanStrength, Heart of Flesh: A Feminist Spirituality for Women and MenA Passion for Life and Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life, she is a well-known international lecturer with special interest in justice, peace, and gender equality. She is an active member of the International Peace Council, an interfaith group of religious and spiritual leaders committed to applying the values of peace, love, and justice to situations of conflict and violence.

“Spirituality without a prayer life is no spirituality at all, and it will not last beyond the first defeats. Prayer is an opening of the self so that the Word of God can break in and make us new. Prayer unmasks. Prayer converts. Prayer impels. Prayer sustains us on the way. Pray for the grace it will take to continue what you would like to quit.”
― Joan D. Chittister, In a High Spiritual Season

Self-described as a “good Roman Catholic girl and a good obedient nun,” she is a dynamic and challenging speaker who combines spirituality with radical commitment to social justice, prophetic vision, and pastoral concern.

“It is precisely women’s experience of God that this world lacks. A world that does not nurture its weakest, does not know God the birthing mother. A world that does not preserve the planet, does not know God the creator. A world that does not honor the spirit of compassion, does not know God the spirit. God the lawgiver, God the judge, God the omnipotent being have consumed Western spirituality and, in the end, shriveled its heart.”
― Joan D. Chittister, Heart of Flesh: Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men

Paul Chilcote, The Upper Room Dictionary of Christian Spiritual Formation (Print book), ed. Keith Beasley-Topliffe. Copyright © 2003 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved.