Announcing the Joan D. Chittister Archive

Erie Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister has established an archival collaboration between the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Penn State University, and Mercyhurst University, Erie for the preservation of her accumulated works. Being a Benedictine Sister of Erie for more than 55 years, and having received her bachelor’s degree from Mercyhurst University and her Doctorate from Penn State, this collaboration trio was not formed by chance. These three groups share a common desire to preserve the work of a woman who was described in a recent Penn State press release as an “internationally renowned writer and lecturer and one of the most articulate social analysts and influential religious leaders of this age.” To be able to make accessible her contributions through the vast and varied wealth of her over 50 books, as well as her speeches, homilies, interviews, magazine articles and columns, ensures that Sister Joan’s contributions will be safeguarded and upheld for future generations.

The three collaborators each play a significant role in this joint effort. The Joan D. Chittister Archive will be physically housed in the Eberly Family Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library as part of the Penn State University Archives, the University Libraries. Mercyhurst University will host public events and exhibitions documenting Sister Joan’s lifelong pursuits. The Benedictine Sisters of Erie have established a permanent archives room at Mount St. Benedict Monastery. Sister Joan’s books, articles, speeches and interviews are now gathered electronically for easy accessibility. Memorabilia and awards from her years of ministry are also on display.

Sister Susan Doubet, research assistant to Sister Joan, is pleased and excited about the archives room, “We are very glad to be able to have so much of Sister Joan’s material together in one place; for accessibility by our sisters, guests and anyone who admires her contributions to both religious life and the church and to the world in general.”

“How fitting that this announcement comes as we begin March, the month dedicated to women’s history,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “It is a special honor for us to pay this tribute to Sister Joan, our sister in community. The Joan D. Chittister Archive will stand strong as a source of education and inspiration for all those who seek to learn of and carry on the commitment that Sister Joan has shown in her advocacy for peace, justice and equality, especially for women in society and church.”

For more information about the Joan D. Chittister Archive, the following persons can be contacted:
Sister Susan Doubet, OSB, research assistant, at sdoubet@mtstbenedict.org, 814-459-0314 or 814-899-0614
Jackie R. Esposito, Penn State University Archivist, at jxe2@psu.edu or 814-863-1793
Dr. Mary Hembrow Snyder, chair of Mercy and Catholic Studies, Mercyhurst University, at msnyder@mercyhurst.edu or 814-824-2502

Read the recent Penn State press release.

Prioress Sr. Anne Wambach congratulates Sr. Joan.
Prioress Sr. Anne Wambach congratulates Sr. Joan.
Sisters and friends share in the excitement of the new archives room at the monastery.
Sisters and friends share in the excitement of the new archives room at the monastery.
Sr. Joan expresses her appreciation to research assistant, Sr. Susan Doubet.
Sr. Joan expresses her appreciation to research assistant, Sr. Susan Doubet.