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 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

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.)