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In My Own Words


Joan Chittister is one of the Church’s key visionary voices and spiritual leaders in the post-Vatican II period, crisscrossing the globe to speak on behalf of women, peace, and human rights. She is an eloquent preacher of the word and prolific and widely read author of more than thirty books. She has provided leadership and guidance in the articulation of spirituality for our times, one that passionately links the gospel to daily newspaper headlines in church, nation, and world affairs.

Chittister was born in DuBois, Pennsylvania in 1936 and entered the Benedictine Sisters of Erie in 1952. Blessed with a charismatic personality and a sharp mind, she was repeatedly elected to leadership positions in the early years of her religious life. She has served as president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses (1974-90) president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (1976-77) and prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie (1978-90). She received her PhD in speech-communications theory from Penn State University and has received numerous honorary degrees and awards. She currently serves as co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a partner organization of the United Nations, and is the founder and executive director of Benetvision: A Resource and Research Center for Contemporary Spirituality. Chittister lives in Erie, Pennsylvania.

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