Speaking to Catholic writer Tom Roberts, Sister Joan Chittister told him her own secret history, of growing up with an abusive and alcoholic stepfather and a devout Catholic mother. Their conversation about her childhood and her reasons for joining the order of Benedictine nuns forms the opening of his new biography on the internationally-known maverick nun.
Writing for Religion News Service, Cathy Lynn Grossman provides context for their conversation and shares some excerpts about the motivations of Sister Chittister.
From the article:
“All my professional life, I have spoken my heart out for the role of women all over the world. It’s a theological thing, a deeply moral thing, the determining issue for the integrity of the church and the advancement of any state,” she told Religion News Service in an interview about the book.
“It’s time to acknowledge that this material is not just theological and rhetorical. It’s real. I’m not just talking from compassion, from a world I don’t know anything about. I’m talking about myself — and all social classes, all kinds of people,”
“I saw it as maybe my last major presentation on behalf of women who are trapped by circumstances of religion, law, custom and culture,” said Chittister.
Are you inspired by Chittister’s story? Will you be drawn to learn more about her life and her work?