Anne Arabome (Nigeria/USA) is a member of the Sisters of Social Service in Los Angeles, California. She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Spirituality from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and a PhD in Systematic Theology from the University of Roehampton in London. She is presently the Associate Director of the Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has published several articles and book chapters on gender and women.

Judith Barwick LCM (Australia) is a retired nurse, having trained and ministered in general, midwifery, psychiatric and gerontology nursing in clinical and management roles for over fifty years.  Judith has also ministered in pastoral care. She is a member of the religious congregation of The Little Company of Mary Sisters. She currently resides in Melbourne, Australia.

Tina Beattie (UK) is Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Roehampton in London, and Director of Catherine of Siena College – an online college offering courses in gender, theology and social justice – based at Roehampton. She is the founder and coordinator of Catholic Women Speak. Her main research interests are in the areas of sacramental theology and gender; Marian theology and art; Catholic social teaching, human dignity and human rights, with a particular focus on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. She is the author of numerous books, book chapters and journal articles. Tina is married with four grown up children and two grandchildren.

 Thérèse M Craine Bertsch (USA) is a mother of five children and eight grandchildren. As an EM, lector, and RCIA member she has a bachelor’s degree from Empire State College, a Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University, and a doctorate from Adelphi University. Thérèse is a therapist who pioneered AIDS and substance abuse programs and she has also organized retreats and weekly Taize prayers.

Cynthia (Sam) M. Bowns (USA) has a Masters of Divinity and a Certificate in Spiritual Formation from Catholic Theological Union.  A married mother of three, she is additionally certified as a spiritual companion.  Sam first recognized her desire to serve as deacon when she accompanied her husband through his discernment and training as deacon.  She has advocated nationally for women’s restoration to the permanent diaconate in many forums in the United States and abroad.

Julett Broadnax (USA) is an 85 year old widowed mother of three sons (one died from AIDS and the other as an adult with diabetic complications). She was educated primarily in Catholic academies and universities. After raising her sons, she did volunteer work at parish, diocesan and community levels. She later discerned a calling to education/training as an Ignatian spiritual director/retreat leader, and she has practiced for the past 20 years.

Melissa Carnall received her Master of Divinity degree from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. Upon graduation, Melissa ministered as a Pastoral Associate in a parish in Chicago, before moving to New Orleans, Louisiana, to minister as a hospital chaplain. She currently lives in intentional Christian community.

Catherine Cavanagh (Canada) D.Min, works as a Catholic high school teacher and chaplain in Ontario, Canada. She has lived in several different countries and Canadian provinces, and is profoundly interested in questions of hospitality, belonging and difference.  She engages in social justice advocacy, including calling for greater gender equity in the Catholic Church. 

Jessica Coblentz (USA) is an Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Saint Mary’s College of California. She also holds a 2017-2019 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Louisville Institute. Her research recently appeared in Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion and Journal of Catholic Higher Education. She is also a regular contributor to Give Us This Day (Liturgical Press). She earned her PhD in systematic theology from Boston College in 2017.

Leslye Colvin (USA) is communications coordinator for Catholic Committee of the South’s Gathering for Mission ( With a range of experience in promoting mission and expanding outreach, she is passionate about encouraging diversity of thought as it relates to those marginalized. She earned an MA in Communications from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a BS from Xavier University of Louisiana, and a certificate in Catholic Social Teaching. She belongs to St. Columba Parish in Dothan, Aabama.

Mary Colwell (UK) is a writer, producer and public speaker on our relationship with the natural world. She produced radio and TV programmes for the BBC Natural History Unit and in 2003 she gave her first talk on faith and the environment at Clifton Cathedral in Bristol. She is the author of John Muir: The Scotsman Who Saved America’s Wild Places (Oxford UK: Lion Books, 2014), and Curlew Moon (London: William Collins, 2018). In September 2017, she walked the John Muir Trail, 230 miles through the Sierra Nevada in California. 

Mary Deepika (India) is a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Patna, India. She is the Chief Coordinator at North East Diocesan Social Service Society (NEDSSS), Kharghuli, Assam, India. NEDSSS is the social work wing of the Catholic Church in North East India involved in social development activities in seven states in the region.  She is also the Regional Secretary of CBCI Council for women in North East India, working with the women commissions of 15 Dioceses.  

 Carolina Del Río Mena (Chile) holds a Master’s degree in Fundamental Theology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and Information. She is a journalist and teacher in the Santa María Spirituality Centre. She is a member of the “Circle of the Study of Sexuality and Gospel” at the Manuel Larraín Theological Centre; she also participates in the Teologanda Program for Study, Research and Publication in Argentina. She is the author of the book Quién soy yo para juzgar? Testimonios de homosexuales católicos (Who Am I to Judge? Testimonies of Gay Catholics) published in 2015 and co-editor of the book La irrupción de los laicos: Iglesia en crisis (The Emergence of the Laity: Church in Crisis) published in 2011. She is a member of the laity and mother of four.

 Ruth Fehlker (Germany) is from Coesfeld, Germany. She studied Catholic Theology at the University of Münster (WWU). She trained with the diocese of Münster in pastoral theology and pastoral psychology and has been working as a parish pastoral worker since 2010.

Mishal Francis (Pakistan/UK) was born in Pakistan and moved to Scotland at the age of 14. She gained an M.Eng in Aeronautical Engineering and subsequently an MSc in Practical Theology. She is currently studying for a Doctorate in Practical Theology while working as a youth development worker for the Diocese of Motherwell. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Hope Human Development & Welfare Association – a charitable organization supporting Christians in Pakistan.

Madeleine Fredell (Sweden) entered Saint Dominic’s Roman Congregation in 1980 and has held different assignments at local and international level. She is presently prioress of the Swedish vicariate. She has degrees in Latin, French, general linguistics and teaching from Stockholm University; in biblical studies, Greek and Hebrew from Institut Catholique in Paris, and an MA in Contemporary Theology from Heythrop College, University of London. She works as secretary general of the Swedish Justice and Peace Commission.

Samantha Tillman (USA) recently graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She writes bad fiction when she isn’t working in mental health with trauma survivors. She lives in Pittsburgh and enjoys punk rock too much.

Astrid Lobo Gajiwala (India) is Director of the Government of India’s Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation and a Consultant at the Tissue Bank of Tata Memorial Hospital. She is a member of several Indian and Asian theological associations, and has been published widely on issues of gender, feminism and family. She has been a consultant to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India since 1992, and helped to draft their Gender Policy in 2010 and their Guidelines to Deal with Sexual Harassment at the Workplace in 2017. 

Gaya Lobo Gajiwala (India) is the daughter of a Catholic feminist mother and a Hindu father. From the ages of 13 to 18, she attended an ashram boarding school that did not encourage religious practice but taught the philosophy of its founder, Shri Aurobindo. At 21 she decided to get baptized. Gaya works as a secondary English Teacher at Oberoi High School, Mumbai. She writes and performs poetry.

Giulia Galeotti (Italy) is an historian and journalist. She is head of the cultural section of L’Osservatore Romano. She is the author of several books in Italian, some of which have been translated into Spanish and Portuguese. These include, among others, Il velo. Significati di un copricapo femminile (The Veil: Significance of a Female Headdress) (Editore EDB,  2016); Storia del voto alle donne in Italia (A History of Women’s Suffrage in Italy) Editore Biblink, 2006) and Storia delll’aborto (A History of Abortion) (Editore Il Mulino, 2003).

Cristina Gangemi (UK) holds a Master’s degree in Pastoral Theology and Lay ministry, with a special focus on Disability. She is Director of The Kairos Forum, a consultancy for cognitively and intellectually disabled people. She is currently working alongside disabled people, families, parish communities and the Livability charity, which connects disabled people with their communities. Recently, she has worked with two Pontifical Councils on issues relating to disability. During the 2012 Paralympic Games she was a spokesperson for the Christian community and is a national advisor to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Cristina Lledo Gomez (Philippines/Australia) is a Research Fellow for Charles Sturt University’s Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre, Australia. Her main areas of research are Ecclesiology, Maternal Feminism, and Language. Her current projects are in Ecology, Migration, and Asian theologies. Her first monograph, Church as a Woman and Mother: Historical and Theological Foundations, is published by Paulist Press (2018).

Jeannine Gramick (USA) is a Sister of Loretto. She received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and taught mathematics before engaging in pastoral outreach, education, and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Catholics. In 1977, she co-founded New Ways Ministry, a US organization working for justice and reconciliation of LGBT people and the Catholic Church. Her ministry and dealings with Church authorities are documented in the film, “In Good Conscience: Sister Jeannine Gramick’s Journey of Faith.”

 Johanna Greeve (Netherlands) is 44 and lives in the Netherlands. The Netherlands (and Belgium) are infamous for their relatively loose euthanasia policies, which puts her story in context. She says, “I have no titles; my only title is child of God.” (Johanna Greeve is a pseudonym.)

 Nontando Hadebe (Southern Africa) is Senior Lecturer at St Augustine College in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is chairperson of the Southern African Circle for Concerned African Women Theologians, a board member of Catholic Women Preach, and a radio presenter at Radio Veritas, a Catholic Radio station in South Africa. Her research interests are primarily related to women and Christianity, particularly the Catholic Church in the African context. Her inclusive focus on all women has extended to sexual minorities, particularly lesbians and their experiences of brutalization that has claimed many lives.

Susan Harford (USA) was the co-founder of Jubilee Faithful, a 200+ Catholic group convened from 2012–14 to use deep listening skills in sessions “On Being Church,” expressly to deal with cognitive dissonance triggered by the Vatican investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States. She is currently an Associate of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and lives in Virginia, USA where she is a mother, grandmother and marketing consultant.

Alana Harris (UK), a married lay Roman Catholic, is a lecturer in modern British History at King’s College London who specializes in areas related to the history of gender and sexuality, and “lived religion” (including materiality and popular devotion). Her publications include Faith in the Family: A Lived Religious History of English Catholicism, 1945-82 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013) and The Schism of ’68: Catholics, Contraception and Humanae Vitae in Europe, 1945-75 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

Maeve Louise Heaney (Australia) is a consecrated member of the Verbum Dei Community and Director of Theological Formation for Ministry at Australian Catholic University and a member of the formation staff of Holy Spirit Provincial Seminary, Queensland. A systematic theologian, musician and composer, she has worked internationally leading schools of evangelization and spiritual exercises. She writes, composes, teaches and performs on themes of theological aesthetics, fundamental theology, music and spirituality.

Colleen Hennessy (Ireland/USA) studied Irish and American social policy for 10 years and worked for the Irish government for 8 years while living in Galway and Kerry. She has a MA in Community Development from NUI Galway, a BA from Tufts University and alternates her time between policy writing and freelance journalism.  She is a struggling Catholic.

Katie Humphrey (UK) is currently studying for a PhD in Theology at Roehampton University and has a specific interest in women and the family in the Catholic Church. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Theology from Hull University and has come back into education as a mature student. This follows a number of years working in marketing in the charity, education and corporate sectors, as well as volunteering and working as the youth coordinator and confirmation catechist at her home church in Bedford. Katie currently carries out administrative tasks for the Catholic Women Speak Network, encouraging and sharing dialogue between Catholic women via social media networks and local groups.

Ruth Hunt (UK) has been the Chief Executive of Stonewall, the UK’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender charity, since 2014. She was named as one of the ten most influential lay Catholics in Britain in The Tablet. She holds an honorary fellowship from Cardiff University, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Keele. 

Ginny Jordan-Arthur (UK) grew up in south Florida, where the Church played a central part of both her faith formation and her social life. She later moved to England to study photography at university. She has led confirmation classes and youth groups and has been involved in national church youth projects. Since 2001, she has worked in university ecumenical and multi-faith chaplaincy teams and has also done postgraduate studies in theology. She is married with two young children, and still loves taking photographs.

Colette Joyce (UK) is employed as a Pastoral Assistant in the Diocese of Westminster (London, UK) and is studying part-time for a PhD in theology at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. She is currently the Equalities Officer for the Faith Workers Branch of the trade union, Unite. 

Gertrude Yema Jusufu (Sierra Leone) is proprietress of Bysee Preparatory School and Day Care Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Founded by her late mother, Bysee School also caters for orphans and needy children. Gertrude trained as a professional teacher and has worked for three decades in primary and secondary education. Her areas of expertise include English and Religious and Moral Education.

Emily Kahm (USA) is a Teaching Fellow in Religion at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, USA. Her academic research focuses on sexuality education in Catholic and other Christian contexts, especially as it affects young adult women, and the intersection of religious education and video games. She lives in Davenport, Iowa, with her spouse Chris.

Alison Concannon Kennedy (UK) began serving her parish community aged twelve, providing the organ accompaniment at Mass.  Her continued vocation to sharing “Music as Prayer” inspired her to compose many hymns and meditative liturgical music, and in 1992 she co-founded the Watermead Music and Publishing Apostolate, which, as CEO, she now runs alongside her work as a pastoral assistant to a busy city parish in Leicester, England.

Clare Keogh (Australia) lives in Melbourne where she is studying for a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy Practice. She is a keen musician and manages La Trobe University Choral Society in Bundoora, Victoria.

Martha Mapasure (Zimbabwe) was born in Zimbabwe two decades ago. She is currently living in South Africa, and doing her PhD in Gender Studies at the University of KwaZulu Natal. Martha holds a Master of Theology Degree in Gender and Religion from the University of KwaZulu Natal. She also holds an Honours Degree in Religious Studies from the University of Johannesburg, and a Bachelor of Theology degree from St Augustine College of South Africa.  Martha is a gender activist and also a member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians. Most of her studies and publications are focused on the correlation of gender and religion.

Mary McAleese (Ireland) was the President of Ireland from 1997 – 2011. She was called to the Northern Ireland Bar in 1974, and in 1975 she was appointed Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College Dublin. In 1987 she returned to her Alma Mater, Queen’s University of Belfast, to become Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, and in 1994, she became the University’s first female Pro-Vice Chancellor. In 2010 she received a Master’s degree in canon law from the national University of Ireland, and in 2013 a licentiate from the Gregorian University in Rome.

 Kate McElwee (USA/Italy) is the executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference and serves on the leadership circle of Women’s Ordination Worldwide. She is based in Rome, Italy.  

Cettina Militello (Italy) Cettina Militello, PhD, STD, has been associate professor at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Liturgy in Rome and directs the Constanza Scelfo Institute for problems of the laity and women in the Church (Department of the Italian Society for Theological Research). She holds the Chair of Woman and Christianity at the Pontifical Theological Faculty Marianum. Her academic interests include Ecclesiology, Mariology, women in the Church, and the relationship between ecclesiology and liturgy.

Marion Morgan OCV (UK) is a full-time carer, active in a City Centre parish in Bristol, England, and contributes to various publications. She has a BA in Theology from Bristol University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Pastoral Theology from Heythrop College, University of London. In 2009 she was consecrated by the bishop as a member of the Order of Consecrated Virgins, for those living a vowed life in the world.

Revai “Elizabeth” Mudzimu (Zimbabwe) is a Catholic nun of the Little Children of Our Blessed Lady (LCBL) order doing her PhD at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Her thesis is on Violence, The Catholic Church, Culture and Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Zimbabwe. She holds a Bachelors Honors and a Master’s degree in Religious Studies and Education from the University of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Open University respectively. She has extensive experience in working with Catholic women in pastoral ministry, violence and human rights in Zimbabwe.

 Melanie Newbould (UK) is from Yorkshire. She qualified as a medical doctor in 1979 and has worked as a consultant in paediatric pathology since 1992.  She also has an interest in medical law and ethics.  She became a Catholic in 2012, deciding after 20 years of marriage to join her husband in the Church.

Jennifer Owens-Jofré (Bolivia/USA) is a doctoral candidate at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.  She is completing her dissertation on devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe at a Latinx Catholic parish in Los Angeles, California, identifying its implications for Mariology and ministry.  Jennifer co-edited From the Pews in the Back: Young Women and Catholicism (Liturgical Press, 2009), and her writing has appeared in scholarly and popular publications, including websites like Busted Halo, Patheos, and Sojourners.

Sara Parvis was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and grew up in Edinburgh. She was educated at the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh, where she wrote a PhD on the Trinitarian controversies of the fourth century, published as Marcellus of Ancyra and the Lost Years of the Arian Controversy 325-345. She is Senior Lecturer in Early Christian History at the University of Edinburgh and a lifelong Catholic.

 Sarah Pearce (UK) has been a volunteer prison chaplain for 21 years. Having been raised a reluctant atheist, she became a Quaker at the age of 34 and converted to Catholicism in 2010. She has 3 children and 5 grandchildren.

Sheila Peiffer (USA) is a retired Director of Religious Education, Campus Minister and retreat director with an MA in Theology.  Her husband Steven is a retired Methodist minister, and they have 4 children and 5 grandchildren.  For the past two decades Sheila has been active in several Catholic reform organizations, including Voice of the Faithful, American Catholic Council and Women’s Ordination Conference.  She currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors of Women’s Ordination Conference.  

Anna Kasafi Perkins (Jamaica) is a Jamaican Roman Catholic lay theologian. She is a former Dean of Studies/lecturer at St Michael’s Theological College, an affiliated institution of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica, and an institute of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston.  Currently she is the Senior Programme Officer, Quality Assurance, serving the UWI Mona Campus and adjunct faculty at St Michael’s Theological College.  Her research interests include faith and popular culture (especially Jamaican Dancehall), gender and culture, quality assurance and enhancement, business and professional ethics.  Among numerous other publications, she is the author of Justice as Equality: Michael Manley’s Caribbean Vision of Justice (2010), and contributor/co-editor for Justice and Peace in a Renewed Caribbean: Contemporary Catholic Reflections (2012).

 Jeannine M. Pitas (USA) is a teacher, poet, Spanish-English literary translator, and freelance journalist living in Dubuque, Iowa. Her work has appeared in US Catholic, National Catholic Reporter, and Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry, and she also writes regularly for the Catholic blog Vox Nova. She teaches at the University of Dubuque.

Martha Pollard (UK) was raised as United Methodist, but in adulthood was confirmed in the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC). She has been an Associate of the Order of St Helena since 2011. Shaped by the history of the Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions, she finds her home in the SEC, in liturgy and sacraments, in contemplative prayer, in mindfulness practice and community, and in Catholic Women Speak; by the grace and love of God, through Christ.

Zuzanna Radzik (Poland) is a Catholic theologian who graduated from the Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Warsaw and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. She specializes in Christians’ relations with Jews and researches Catholic feminism. Zuzanna regularly contributes to the Polish Catholic Weekly “Tygodnik Powszechny” and in 2015 published Kościół kobiet, (The Church of Women) highlighting feminist efforts in the Catholic Church from various countries and cultures.

Jennifer Reek (USA) holds a PhD from the Centre for Literature, Theology and the Arts, University of Glasgow, and an MDiv from Regis College, the Jesuit Faculty of the University of Toronto. She is author of A Poetics of Church: Reading and Writing Sacred Spaces of Poetic Dwelling and co-editor of the forthcoming Thresholds of Wonder: Poetry, Philosophy and Theology in Conversation. Currently, she teaches seminars in Great Books in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut.

Irim Sarwar (USA/UK) is an American of Indo-Pak ancestry now living in the UK who was born Muslim and became Catholic via teaching at a Modern Orthodox Jewish school. She has an undergraduate degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Education, but has catalogued books in a Dominican priory, and now works in quality assurance at an evangelical mission institution that offers research degrees.

Margaret Susan Thompson (USA) is an historian at Syracuse University (USA). Her AB is from Smith College, and her PhD is from the University of Wisconsin. Most of her recent work has been on the history of American Catholic sisters, on which she has published extensively, including an 18-lecture series available from NowYouKnowMedia. She is an Associate member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan (USA).

The Ursuline High School, Wimbledon (UK) is a voluntary-aided comprehensive school for Catholic girls. Part of the worldwide network of Ursuline Schools, the school’s sense of community and identity are based on the charism of St Angela Merici, regarding her ethos of SERVIAM. The Ursuline aims to develop kind, confident, ambitious young women committed to their faith; able and willing to use the values of their faith to lead a change for the better. Ten Ursuline students aged,14,15, 16 and 17 drafted the letter to Pope Francis included in this volume.

Celia Viggo Wexler (USA) is an award-winning journalist and nonfiction author, She is a cradle Catholic whose second book, Catholic Women Confront Their Church: Stories of Hurt and Hope, was published in 2016 (Rowman & Littlefield). Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Columbia Journalism Review, and The Nation.  She graduated from the University of Toronto, where she received the Governor-General’s Medal in English Literature, and earned her graduate degree in journalism from Point Park University, Pittsburgh.