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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Francis' biggest reform is to shift church from Eurocentric to universal

Simply Spirit: Speaking to FutureChurch, veteran Vatican journalist Robert Mickens asks progressive Catholics "to push and support the pope" — and have patience with the slow pace of reform.


A tale of two synods: Putting the people of God first, 14 years later

Simply Spirit: The ongoing Synod of Bishops for the Amazon stands in stark contrast to the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist held in 2005. Prioritizing the people of God makes a difference.


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.


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.