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Sister Joan Chittister Archive

Mercyhurst has partnered with Penn State University and the Erie Benedictine Community to preserve the literary archives of Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, a 1962 Mercyhurst graduate. Chittister, who also earned a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate from Penn State University, has been an articulate social analyst and influential religious leader for 40 years, advocating for justice, peace and equality in church and society, especially for women.

While the archive is housed on Penn State’s main campus, both Mercyhurst and Mount St. Benedict maintain permanent archive rooms with access to her books, articles and other memorabilia. In addition, Mercyhurst will host an annual lecture series.

Both the archive space at Mercyhurst and the lecture series have been endowed by the Boyle Family in honor of Helen Loebelenz Boyle, Mercyhurst Class of 1934, a longtime friend of Sister Joan.

The Helen Boyle Memorial Archive in Honor of Joan D. Chittister, OSB, located on the fourth floor of Hammermill Library, features a 70" interactive touch screen. The display features Chittister’s life in pictures, her vita, her blogs, links to associated websites, videos and summaries of a selection of her books. The archive also includes a computer, which researchers can use to access her complete collections of books, articles, CDs of presentations and more.

The archive was dedicated April 30, 2014 


Chittister Lecture Series


Acclaimed political commentator and author Cokie Roberts will join Joan D. Chittister, OSB “In Conversation” in the 2017 presentation of the Joan D. Chittister Lecture Series. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25, at 7 p.m. in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst University. Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. She has won countless awards during her more than 40 years in broadcasting, including three Emmys. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting. In addition to her reporting, Roberts has written six New York Times bestsellers, most dealing with the roles of women in U.S. history.

The lecture is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Tickets will be available to the public beginning April 3.




Author, journalist and former California First Lady Maria Shriver joined Joan D. Chittister, OSB, “In Conversation” on Thursday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Mercyhurst’s Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. This second installment of the Joan D. Chittister, OSB, Lecture Series brought together two women who share a passion for issues of peace and justice – especially as they affect women.

View the complete news release



Event Photos

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view the full album

Watch "In Conversation"




The Joan D. Chittister, OSB, Lecture Series launched April 30, 2014, with a presentation by Tom Roberts, an award-winning journalist and author of the biography Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith (2015).

Watch Robert's lecture



Chittister with Oprah

On March 1, 2015, Joan D. Chittister, OSB, was the featured guest on Oprah Winfrey’s “Super Soul Sunday” series. Titled “Oprah and Sister Joan Chittister: A Life of Passion, Purpose and Joy,” the program aired OWN TV.