Women Who Stay

The Women Who Stay: Women of the Bible and Tradition

The Women Who Stay series is open to women and men of any tradition and any level of engagement with the Church, with the intention of forming community, gaining knowledge, and deriving spiritual inspiration for our call of discipleship today. Participants can join at any time and for any length of time. There is no cost to attend. At this time, all programming is via Zoom.

The Women Who Stay is a feminist scripture series born out of women’s experiences of exclusion and marginalization in the Catholic Church, with a hope that the series can inspire a vision and empowerment for the future of our Church. The Women Who Stay taps feminist biblical scholarship, art, imagination, and the experiences of participants  to prompt spiritual reflection on the often overlooked and misunderstood women of scripture and the Christian tradition. 

Co-facilitated by Holy Trinity parishioners Anne Koester of Georgetown University and Liz McCloskey of the 5 Theses initiative, each weekly presentation begins and ends with prayer, usually includes a reading of scripture or another text, a short visual and spoken presentation on the topic (often summarizing insights gleaned from feminist scholarship), and proposes questions to prompt further reflection and discussion. 

Fall 2021: Women Who Weave in the Spirit past speakers

Summer 2021: Women Who Give Voice past speakers


Winter 2021: The Women Who Advance Justice

For our winter series, we welcome women scholars and those ministering in other dimensions of Church life to speak about various issues of justice as they concern women in particular. We are finalizing the details for our winter session, "Women Who Stay: Women Who Advance Justice." Please mark your calendars and register!

  • Sr. Thea Bowman, "Black and Catholic"

Anne Koester and Liz McCloskey will lead a discussion on the life of Sr. Thea Bowman. Sister Thea Bowman was the granddaughter of a slave, an advocate for racial justice, and the first African American woman to address the U.S. bishops' conference.


  • Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, "Visiting the Sick"

Sr. Carol Keehan is the former president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United States. She has held influential roles in the governance of a variety of health care, insurance and educational organizations, including the National Academy of Medicine, the International Federation of Catholic Health Care Associations of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Health Care, Catholic Relief Services and more. Sr. Carol has been a member of several health, labor and domestic policy committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and serves on the finance committee of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.


  • Ellie Hidalgo, "Discerning Deacons"

Ellie Hidalgo served for 12 years as the pastoral associate for Dolores Mission Catholic Church and School, a Jesuit parish in Boyle Heights, just east of downtown Los Angeles, California. The parish is known for its restorative justice ministries and its accompaniment of immigrant families from Mexico and Central America. Ellie will lead a discussion about the role of women in the life of the church and the Catholic Church's discernment of restoring women to the order of deacon. What do we know about the historical presence of women in this ministry, the contemporary theology and practice of the diaconate, the many ways that Catholic women are already serving in diaconal ministries and the pastoral needs that could be addressed by women serving as deacons?

Resources for Ellie Hidalgo.


  • Meghan Clark, "Matthew 25, the Good Samaritan & Discipleship for Social Justice"

Meghan J. Clark, Ph.D., is an associate professor of moral theology at St John’s University (NY). At St. John’s, Dr. Clark engages students inside and outside the classroom on diverse topics in moral theology and Catholic social thought. She is a senior fellow of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society and serves as a faculty expert for the Holy See’s Mission to the United Nations.

Resources for March 1:


Winter 2021: The Women Who Advance Justice past speakers

Fall 2020: The Women Who Endure

All are welcome to join the four-week fall series "The Women Who Stay: The Women Who Endure" as we celebrate the enduring contributions of some of the most preeminent women in the field of theology.  Our guests are among the finest Catholic scholars in scripture, liturgy, spirituality and theology whose contributions illuminate a way forward for our Church.  We have invited them to reflect on their experiences as an early generation of women scholars, what they have endured, what they have learned and how they have flourished.

Past Sessions:

The Women Who Stay sessions to date have explored women in the Hebrew scriptures, in the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles, and in Paul’s letters. While presentations are not included for all events, we have provided links to articles discussed during the sessions.

The Women Who Tell Our Stories- July 2020

Dr. Shawn Copeland Discusses Henriette DeLille and What It Means to Be Holy
Dr. Copeland speaks about what it means to be holy while discussing Henriette DeLille, the 19th century founder of the order of African-American Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans based on her book: The Subversive Power of Love: The Vision of Henriette Delille: The Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality (Paulist Press, 2009).

Watch the July 27 Presentation
Breathe & Fire (Commonweal)
Black Theology and a Legacy of Oppression (America)

Sr. Cristine Schenk Discusses Women's Authority in the Church
Sister of St. Joseph Christine Schenk spoke about women's authority in the Church, presenting from her award-winning book about the evidence from catacomb and tomb art for women's leadership in the first centuries of Christianity: Crispina and Her Sisters: Women and Authority in Early Christianity (Fortress, 2017).

Watch the July 20 Presentation
Archacology & Female Authority in the Early Church

Robin Smith Discusses "Come Walk in My Shoes"
Robin Smith, a Holy Trinity parishioner, spoke with Liz McCloskey on July 13 about her transformative experiences in the making of the civil rights documentary, Come Walk in My Shoes.  Robin shared how the faith and freedom music of Dorothy Cotton and of other women leaders fueled-- and continues to fuel -- the civil rights movement.  Robin has made the film available to participants for a limited time

View the conversation between Robin & Liz

The Great 50 Days of Easter: Women’s Wisdom
  • Mary of Magdala
  • Mary of Clopas
  • Mary of Nazareth
  • Women of Greece
  • Egeria, A Pilgrim woman
  • Sophia, the spirit of God


The Women Who Stand Up—Winter 2020
  • The Bent Woman 
  • The Woman who Anointed Jesus 
  • Peter’s Mother-in-Law and the Servant Girl 
  • The Samaritan Woman at the Well 


The Women Who Proclaim Meaning—Fall 2019 
  • Deborah
  • Esther
  • Priscilla 
  • Phoebe 


The Women Who Act with Resolve—Summer 2019
  • Judith
  • Ruth And Naomi
  • Anna
  • Lydia


The Women Who Persist—Winter/Spring 2019
  • Miriam 
  • Hannah and Penninah 
  • The Canaanite/Syropenician Woman
  • Martha and Mary of Bethany


The Women Who Bring Life—Fall 2018
  • Elizabeth
  • Sara/Hagar
  • Shiphra and Puah
  • Mary of Nazareth 


The Women Who Stay—Summer 2018
  • Mary of Nazareth
  • Joanna/Junia, Susanna and ‘the other women’
  • Mary of Clopas and the ‘other Mary,’ 
  • Mary of Magdala