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.

Winter 2023 Women Who Stayed: Catholic Women at Work

Beginning January 23, we will celebrate the voices of professional Catholic women from within Holy Trinity’s own pews. In our discussion series, we will learn: What does it mean today to be Catholic in the workplace? How can our values help us shine professionally? And when can our faith elevate our problem solving or our uniting? Through this series of moderated Q&As, we will explore the opportunities and challenges of being a female professional Catholic in today’s world. The first four presentations will be held at 5:30pm over Zoom. Register

January 23: Faith & Education with Elizabeth Wittschen & Dr. Eileen Moore(Watch)

January 30: Faith & Business with Maury Devine, Former President and Managing Director of a Norwegian affiliate of ExxonMobil & Kitty Wach, Pro Bono Counsel for Miller & Chevalier (Watch)

February 6: Faith & International Relations with Dr. Maria del Pilar Londoño-Kent, international trade and port and transport consultant, and Teresita Schaffer, Former Ambassador to Sri Lanka. (Watch)

February 13: Faith & Communication with Donna Cassata, journalist, and Gail Louis, relationship manager, PNC Financial Services Manager (Watch)

February 20: In person reflection on the spirituality of work led by Anne Koester.  Be prepared to be in conversation about the work you do and work as nourishment for our spiritual lives.

March 19 : Sr. Catherine Vincie "A View of the Liturgy: The Ideal and the Real" (Watch)

Sixty years ago this November, the Second Vatican Council issued the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. What do we point to today as the basic principles of Catholic liturgy? What is wrong or missing in the liturgy? What is the feminist perspective on liturgy? And what is the intersection between the Church's liturgy and the New Cosmology? Sr. Catherine guided us through a thought-provoking discussion on the liturgy. Catherine Vincie, RSHM, is professor of sacramental and liturgical theology at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri. She is also past president of the North American Academy of Liturgy.

Fall 2022 Women Who Stayed: Women Who Care for Creation

In 2022, the Vatican launched the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, embarking the global church on a journey towards integral ecology and total sustainability over the next seven years. This fall Women Who Stay welcomes voices that will highlight ways we may care for our common home through justice and prayer. All presentations will be over Zoom at 5:30pm EST. All are welcome!

September 26: Molly Burhans, Executive Director of Goodlands ( Watch) 
October 3: Brenna Davis, Director of Education for Justice and Environmental Initiatives for the Ignatian Solidarity Network (Watch)
October 10: Marianne Comfort, Justice Coordinator for Earth, Antiracism, and Women for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas (Watch)
October 17: Anne McCarthy, OSB, Coordinat orf Erie (PA) Benedictines for Peace (Watch)


Winter 2022 Women Who Stayed: Women Who Seek Wisdom

February 28:   Mary Schaffer (Watch) 
March 7:         Dr. Jaime Waters (Watch)
March 14:       Sr. Mary Forman (Watch)
March 21:       Gathering the Graces & Wandering in Wisdom

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 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