Joy is the overflow of
a heart that knows
it is at home in
the universe.
—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

Brené Brown Recommends

Best-selling author Brené Brown, whose TED Talk, “The Call to Courage” is one of the five most-viewed talks in the world, closed a 15-minute church service on her Instagram story with an excerpt from Joan Chittister’s, “Prayer for Conscience and Courage." Click here to read the entire prayer as it is posted on the Monasteries of the Heart website. (If you are not already a member, click here to sign up for a free membership.)

Staff Members' Outreach

A new online Global Sisters Report column by Sister Linda Romey, Benetvision’s web designer and developer, recounted her trip to the border and drew some imaginative applications to religious life. Click here.

Benetvision’s newest staff member Katie Gordon, who is also on the coordinating committee of Nuns & Nones, addressed the Congregation of Saint Agnes in Fond du Lac, WI on the subject of foundresses of religious communities. To listen to her talk, click here.

Instagram Account

Be inspired by Joan Chittister. Follow Monasteries of the Heart on Instagram, at  https://www.instagram.com/monasteriesoftheheart/ for regular inspiration, challenge and insight from Joan Chittister. Use #joanchittister when you share Sister Joan's wisdom to make it easier for others to find it. 


Joan Chittister Newsletters

Five Minutes with Joan Chittister

Mar 29, 2020


A Word from Joan

An audacity we didn’t know we had
Mar 30, 2020
Scarred By Struggle, Transformed by Hope by Joan Chittister

There are several ways to survive the interruptions of life. One way is to assume that what we don’t want to have happen but can’t change is God’s mind for us—mysterious, but magical nevertheless. Another way is to endure what we can’t change, however reluctantly, as a demonstration of some kind of virtue, the successful accomplishment of a great cosmic test that in the mathematics of the universe comes out to our credit. We can, in other words, simply assume that life is a “plan” God makes for us.

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.