Sister Joan Chittister to deliver 4th annual O'Callaghan Lecture at Fairfield University


Image: Joan ChittisterJoan Chittister, OSB, a leading voice in contemporary spirituality and church and world issues, will present the fourth annual Anne Drummey O'Callaghan lecture on Women in the Church on Tuesday, Oct. 5, at 8 p.m. The lecture, entitled "God, Women and the World: Telling the Story Another Way," will take place in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

The lecture is part of a week-long celebration of the inauguration of Fairfield University's eighth president, the Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J. A dessert and coffee reception will follow the lecture.

Chittister will consider how the concepts of God, women and the world inform one another and what underlies the conflicts between them. The presentation will deal with the premise that what people do or fail to do about the world depends on what they think about themselves and their relationships to things around them.

A widely published author, columnist and noted international lecturer, Chittister is the author of more than 30 books, including "Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir" (Sheed & Ward, 2004), "The Friendship of Women: A Spiritual Tradition" (Sheed & Ward, 2000), and "Listen with the Heart: Sacred Moments in Everyday Life" (Sheed & Ward, 2003). "Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope" (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2003) won the Best General Interest Award for 2003 from the Association of Theological Booksellers and three other works received awards from the Catholic Press Association.

Chittister, a social psychologist and communications theorist, is currently the executive director of Benetvision, a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality. She is also a regular columnist for the National Catholic Reporter and has published numerous articles on issues of women in the church, human rights, peace and justice and contemporary religious life.

Chittister attended the fourth United Nations Conference of Women in Beijing in 1995 and the Parliament of World Religions in South Africa in 1999. She serves as co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders and was a keynote speaker at its conferences at the Palais des Nations in Geneva in 2002 and in Oslo in 2003.

Chittister is past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the national organization of leaders of the 75,000 Catholic religious women in the United States. She served as prioress of her own community, the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Penn., for 12 years and is a founding member of the International Committee for the Peace Council, an inter-religious group of leaders who promote peace efforts.

An elected fellow of St. Edmund's College and Cambridge University, Chittister holds a doctorate from Penn State University. She also held the Brueggeman Chair of Ecumenical Studies at Xavier University in Cincinnati in 2001.

The annual O'Callaghan Lecture honors the memory of Anne Drummey O'Callaghan, an advocate for persons with mental disabilities and a youth minister and catechist at St. Jerome and St. Joseph churches in Norwalk, Conn. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 9, 2004

Vol. 37, No. 46