Home 2018-08-16T06:31:20+00:00

We are Catholic Women Speak

Read about our new book and launch event in Rome on 1st October, 2018

To pre-order a discounted copy of the book from Watermead Shop, run by CWS member and contributor Alison Concannon Kennedy, please go to this link (orders for UK delivery only).


Find out about our new book and launch event here

This is a collection of theological essays and personal reflections by members of Catholic Women Speak and Voices of Faith, which is being published by Paulist Press in advance of the October 2018 Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment. Our aim is to celebrate the rich diversity of Catholic women’s perspectives from around the world, as they reflect on some of the most vital issues of our time in the context of women’s vocations and visions. There are more than 60 contributors from 20 different countries. The youngest is 14 and the oldest is 85.

We are launching the book with a symposium and reception at the Pontifical University Antonianum on 1st October, 2018.

Find out more by scrolling down this page.

In collaboration with:

List of Contents
List of Contributors

Meet some of the contributors and read extracts from the book by clicking on the images below

Symposium and Book Launch – Save the Date
Help us to bring contributors to Rome – donate here

Read our open letter to Pope Francis

To read Pope Francis’s reply, please go to the Voices of Faith website at this link.

Thank you to all who helped us to achieve our target of 1,000 signatures

We are calling on Pope Francis to ensure a wider and more representative dialogue with women in the Church.

Please click through on the link below to read the full text.

Read the letter here

Towards a deeper, richer understanding of the Catholic tradition

We are creating a space for open dialogue, theological exploration and collaboration among Catholic women in the worldwide Church.

We seek to bring Catholic women’s voices into dialogue with others in the Catholic Church, with those in other churches and religious traditions, and with wider society, in order to participate in a deeper, richer understanding of the Catholic tradition and its relevance for our times

We do not speak with one voice

We believe in the creativity of struggle and acceptance that comes from learning to respect our differences. We regard these as vital aspects of the process of discovery and transformation that brings us together in our faith.

Diversity is a strength
Meet our members

We speak as women, not as “Woman”

We resist any attempt to develop a theology of “Woman”.

Find out why


A forum for dialogue

The purpose of the forum is to create an informed and honest space for dialogue around issues relevant to the lives of Catholic women in the Church and society.

Comments and contributions that are respectful, courteous and intelligent are welcome here.

Whatever your gender, you are welcome to join our conversation here.

Catholic women discuss Ignatian spirituality

LAURA: There's a lot of stuff in the media right now about Ignatian Spirituality because of Scorsese's new film Silence. I'm wondering if anyone in the group has ever done a Jesuit retreat or gone

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We are a global network

We are the voices of Catholic women from many different cultures, perspectives and walks of life, united by a shared belief that the Church will benefit from greater inclusion of women’s perspectives and theological insights in the interpretation of doctrine and the development of pastoral practice.
Find out how
We are an online community of over 1000 women


Join our conversation

“I’ll Eat You Up, I Love You So”: Religion Where The Wild Things Are

Article from CWS member Rebecca Bratten Weiss, originally published on Patheos.com 17th May 2018 My two younger children are going through an entirely understandable Maurice Sendak phase, which means I find lines like “we’ll

Tina Beattie, An Empire of Misogyny?

MicroMega 4/28: “Potere Vaticano. La finta rivoluzione di papa Bergoglio” Tina Beattie, “Misoginia della

Say There is a Lady

Article by CWS member Mary Pezzulo, originally published on Patheos.com 13th May 2018 Let’s

“I’ll Eat You Up, I Love You So”: Religion Where The Wild Things Are

Article from CWS member Rebecca Bratten Weiss, originally published on Patheos.com 17th May 2018

Coding Our Way into Freedom

Blog from CWS member Jennifer Owens-Jofre originally published on www.jenniferowensjofre.com 15th May 2018 “You’re coding

Browse more articles here

News and events

CWS Comment on Priestly Sexual Abuse

Catholic Women Speak does not campaign on any single issue, other than the right of women in the Church to speak honestly and to be listened to attentively and respectfully. We have decided to issue

Voices of Faith on BBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme

The following report was written by CWS member Tina Beattie on Sunday, 4th March: [This post was amended on 5th March] It was good to hear BBC Radio 4 dedicating time on its Sunday programme today

CWS Member Jeannine Pitas’ New Book

We are thrilled to share the news that CWS member Jeannine Pitas' new book 'Thank You For Dreaming' is available now from Lummox Press. These poems are my grateful response to those who dream.

Browse more news items here

Men and women, young people and adults, communicate differently. They speak different languages and they act in different ways. Everyone has something to contribute, because they have their life experiences, they look at things from a different standpoint and they have their own concerns, abilities and insights. The unity that we seek is not uniformity, but a “unity in diversity”, or “reconciled diversity”.

 – Pope Francis,  Amoris Laetitiae – The Joy of Love

Catholic Women Speak – The book

Paulist Press (US)


Alban Books (UK)


The book

The Catholic Women Speak network’s first major project was to edit an anthology of Catholic women’s writings that was published to coincide with the opening of the October 2015 Synod on the Family. 300 copies of the book were made available free of charge to Synod participants and displayed on a table in the Synod Hall, and we understand that nearly of them were taken.


Review of Catholic Women Speak in Tui Motu InterIsland Magazine

Catholic Women Speak: Bringing our Gifts to the Table is, I believe, a significant contribution to the discussion around the role of women in the Catholic Church in the 21st century. It is not only well-researched, but is a lively and thought-provoking read. I thoroughly recommend it.

Daily Theology, ‘Review: Catholic Women Speak’

One of the strengths of the volume is the plurality of voices, which do not speak with a single, unified opinion on controversy. This is all the better, really, to reflect the complexity of women’s lives. I can easily see this book being valuable for pastors and pastoral associates, for parish book clubs, for academics to use in their classrooms when dealing with perennially hot-button topics.

Vox Nova, Jeannine Marie Pitas, Book Review: ‘Catholic Women Break Their Silence’:

For me, this book is a breath of fresh air. A thick wall of silence has been broken; masks have been removed. It is refreshing to see these forty-four women speak in such a courageous, vulnerable and self-revealing way. This book is a must-read for all who seek a better understanding of the real, lived experience of women in the Catholic Church today.

Read more reviews

Get involved with Catholic Women Speak today

Join a vibrant network of Catholic women who all support each other on their personal and spiritual journeys.

Join our online community

We welcome Catholic women to join our Facebook group to dialogue with us, and to support other Catholic women around the world working for a more inclusive Church.

Take part in our closed Facebook group

This private Facebook group is open to bona fide members who self-identify as Catholic women. It offers a secure and confidential forum for dialogue, awareness raising and theological engagement around issues of concern to women in the Church and society. If you wish to join in the conversation please contact us

Join a local group

Catholic Women Speak is a worldwide movement. Find out if there is a group in your area that you can join and support.

How to join a group

Even though we take full advantage of online communication, we know that this does not replace the value of meeting face to face in groups to support each other. Find out if there is a group near you for you to join.

Join our conversation

Whatever your gender, you are welcome to join our conversation here.

Join our forum

The purpose of the website is to create an informed and honest space for dialogue around issues relevant to the lives of Catholic women in the Church and society. Comments and contributions which are respectful, courteous and intelligent are welcome here.

Join online
Join local group
Go to forum
Sign up to our newsletter
Go to magazine

We are delighted to collaborate with L’Osservatore Romano in distributing the English translation of their Women Church World magazine through our website.

L’Osservatore Romano – Muslim Holy Women

Muslim Holy Women - June 2018 With our June issue we begin the seventh year of our life with both continuity and innovation. The choice of a subject to look at in depth in

L’Osservatore Romano – Women Friends

Women Friends - April 2018 For many centuries friendship was considered to be a solely masculine fact, a “lofty” sentiment, cathartic, which uplifted the spirit: Achilles and Patroclus, Euryalus and Nisus, and also David

L’Osservatore Romano – Women and Work

Women and Work - March 2018 “There is not a single country or a single sector in which women have the same salaries as men. It is the greatest theft in history”. According to

In collaboration with Voices of Faith

Catholic Women Speak and Voices of Faith work together to promote the representation and participation of women in the life of the Church. We do this through publications, media promotions, educational activities, networking and social media, and by organising events such as the International Women’s Day conference organised in Rome every year by Voices of Faith, and the symposia in Rome organised by Catholic Women Speak to coincide with Synods of Bishops in 2015 and 2018.

In collaboration with Catherine of Siena College

We work closely with the college which provides an online learning environment for the promotion of higher education in the fields of theology, religion, gender and social justice, intended particularly but not exclusively for women in the global South who would not otherwise have access to university education.

Both the Network and the College are administered by the University of Roehampton in London, under the umbrella of the Digby Stuart Research Centre for Religion, Society and Human Flourishing.

Support our work

Please support the work of the Catholic Women Speak Network - helping to create the space for authentic dialogue within the Church. Find out what your funds can help us achieve. Find out what your funds can help us achieve.
Donate here