St. Joseph Sr. Christine Schenk, an NCR board member, served urban families for 18 years as a nurse midwife before co-founding FutureChurch, where she served for 23 years. Her recent book Crispina and Her Sisters: Women and Authority in Early Christianity (Fortress, 2017) was awarded first place in History by the Catholic Press Association. She holds master's degrees in nursing and theology.

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When Fran saw us, she saw only God

Recently my spiritual director of 30 years passed away. She was one of many hundreds, perhaps thousands of female spiritual directors who are exercising essential — if largely invisible — leadership in our church.

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When it is dark, praying communities give us eyes to see the sacred at work

Simply Spirit: I owe my learning to the women and men with whom I have walked and am walking. Their solidarity helps me to first accept and then join together to alleviate the wounds of our world.

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In Magdalene film, it's all about the relationship

"Mary Magdalene" is a perfect way to celebrate the "Apostle to the Apostles" on or around her July 22 feast day. It is both cinematically beautiful and well-grounded in contemporary scholarship about the religious and political context in which Jesus and Mary sought God and God's reign. 

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When it comes to church reform, despair is not an option

It is difficult to ignore ever-mounting evidence that the clerical system governing the Catholic church is in a significant state of decay. Yet, I can't help believing that the Holy Spirit — who loves creating something new out of chaos — is summoning us to build a new church governance.

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