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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Despite looming pandemic, intrepid pilgrims honor church foremothers

Simply Spirit: The third FutureChurch pilgrimage to the Greek sites where women helped found Christianity brought to light the strength of the faith and the work women do for it today.


Good news and not-so-good news in Francis' Amazon exhortation

Simply Spirit: There is much good news for our world in Querida Amazonia. But much is lacking, for Amazonian Catholics and also for Catholics like me, who long to return to the practice of the early church.

Book Review

Meticulous scholarly book on women's role in early church has a few sketchy claims

Ally Kateusz command of early texts does a fine job of uncovering gender balance in second to 10th-century Christian leadership, but her analysis of visual evidence offers only thought-provoking speculation.


'Little Women' unwraps foibles of the human heart

Simply Spirit: I had the pleasure of taking my niece and grandnieces to see the movie "Little Women." Growing up, Louisa May Alcott's classic was my all-time favorite book. Love is central to the work.