Catholic Women’s Forum

A Voice to the Culture, A Resource for the Church

Pope Francis calls for women to be a more “effective presence” in the Church and in the world. The Catholic Women’s Forum, directed by EPPC Kate O’Beirne Senior Fellow Mary Rice Hasson, responds to this call, amplifying the voice of Catholic women—leading female Catholic professionals, scholars, and other experts—on crucial issues of today.

The Catholic Women’s Forum helps shape conversations in the Church and in the culture—about marriage and family, gender and sexuality, the role of women, religious liberty, and the dignity of human life—through expert commentary, presentations, scholarly articles, and in national and international conferences.

We meet regularly to engage topics highly relevant to Church concerns. Our annual Symposium develops, in accord with Church teachings, new insights and proposals to further the Church’s evangelizing mission. Our participants share their expertise with Church leaders and at national and international conferences, in service to the Church.

Our experts speak out in support of Catholic teaching and, more broadly, in support of an authentic vision of the human person and the values on which thriving families and a free society are built.

Other scholars affiliated with the Catholic Women’s Forum are EPPC Fellow Jennifer Bryson, EPPC Cardinal Francis George Fellow Mary FioRito, and EPPC Postdoctoral Fellow Gabrielle Girgis.

EPPC Fellow Mary Rice Hasson speaks at a September 2016 panel discussion at the University of Notre Dame exploring the role of women in the Church.

In Promise and Challenge: Catholic Women Reflect on Feminism, Complementarity, and the Church (Our Sunday Visitor, 2015), based on presentations from the 2014 Catholic Women’s Symposium, ten diverse women offer new insights into the meaning of womanhood and the role of women in the Church.

Our Advisory Council, which helps shape the focus of our annual Symposium and the direction of the Catholic Women’s Forum, includes:

Maria Sophia Aguirre, Professor, Catholic University of America

Helen Alvaré, Professor, George Mason University School of Law

Erika Bachiochi, Legal Scholar and Author

Mary Ellen Bork, Writer, Board Member, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Sr. Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., Professor Emerita, University of St. Mary of the Lake Mundelein Seminary

Kim Daniels, Former Spokesperson for the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Emily Matich Duffy, Director of Programs and Communications, Catholic Information Center

Theresa Farnan, Consultant, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Mary Hallan FioRito, Former Executive Assistant to Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.

Margaret Harper McCarthy, Assistant Professor, John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family

Meg McDonnell, Executive Director, Chiaroscuro Institute

Catherine Ruth Pakaluk, Assistant Professor, Ave Maria University

Deborah Savage, Professor, St. Paul Seminary at the University of St. Thomas

Elizabeth Schiltz, Professor, University of St. Thomas School of Law

Hilary Towers, Developmental Psychologist and Author

“the Church has a wide reservoir of intellectually and spiritually well-formed women with hearts on fire for the Lord and the Church and her authoritative teachings.” – interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review Online

Support Our Work:

To learn more about our work, or to reach our experts, attend a leadership event, or apply to participate in the scholars’ symposium, please contact Mary Rice Hasson at [email protected].

Our work is possible because of the generous donors who share our vision. We welcome your interest and support.To make an online donation, please click here. (Please designate your gift for the Catholic Women’s Forum.)

Program Media

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Mary FioRito on Why Catholics NEED To Vote

EDIFY / November 14, 2023

Mary FioRito Discusses the GOP Issue with Abortion Messaging

Morning Answer Chicago / November 8, 2023

Mary FioRito on human trafficking

Edify Podcast / October 20, 2023

The Annihilation of the Feminine: The Plight of Today’s Woman

Women of Grace / October 2-5, 2023

Faith, terrorists, and mercy at Guantanamo Bay

BBC News World Service / September 15, 2023

Jennifer Bryson on Feminism and Marxism

The European Conservative / September 11, 2023

AUDIO: “Gender-affirming care”

EDIFY Podcast / August 11, 2023

Program Events

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The Transgender Revolution in the Classroom: What Parents Need to Know

September 22, 2021 Transgender ideology is flooding public school classrooms. What does this mean for our children? And what can…



The Future of the Church: Synod, Scandal, and Solace

The ongoing sexual abuse scandal has caused tumult in the Catholic Church in America and around the world, as bishops search for the right path forward, and faithful priests and parishioners seek answers and accountability. At the same time, lay Catholics are trying to navigate complex conversations and competing media narratives about the Synod on Youth that took place at the Vatican last October.

In this season of synod and scandal, what do Catholics need to know? And where shall we find solace?



The #MeToo Moment: Second Thoughts on the Sexual Revolution

The #MeToo movement has generated widespread outrage over sexual harassment and the culture that condoned it.



Protected: 2016 Catholic Women’s Symposium

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2015 Catholic Women’s Leadership Luncheon

Evangelizing a Broken World: Women and the Art of Accompanying Others
Keynote Speaker: Helen Alvaré


2015 Catholic Women’s Symposium

The Catholic Women’s Forum, in collaboration with the Catholic Information Center of Washington, D.C, hosts an annual Catholic Women’s Symposium…


2014 Catholic Women’s Symposium

Evangelizing a Broken World: Women’s Essential Work in the Mission of the Church
Co-sponsored by the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the Catholic Information Center