From the Pews in the Back is a book filled with questions about Catholic identity. How do young Catholic women see or define themselves? What is their relationship to the church? What are their struggles and joys? In a church that often consigns them to the pews in the back, what place are young women claiming? This collection of twenty-nine essays approaches these questions from a multitude of angles. These brief memoirs, together with the insights of editors Kate Dugan and Jennifer Owens, offer a glimpse into what it means to be young, Catholic, and female in today’s church. These women wrestle with the Catholic faith and with the church. They ask hard questions of the institution and are not willing to take easy answers.
From the Pews in the Back is a new chapter in the dialogue about the role of women in the church. The voices of these women range from inspiring and energetic to challenging and wounded. Ultimately, though, these women are stubbornly hopeful. They are claiming a place in the church and are calling other Catholics to talk with them about this claim.
- Continue the conversation with several of our authors on our blog. Add your thoughts using the comments feature.
- Check out the reading guide, a helpful tool for book groups, classrooms, or parish study groups. These questions were designed by several small groups of women of different ages in different parts of the country. We welcome your contributions.
- Visit our Calendar page to scope out where you can hear one or more of our 29 authors reading from their contributions.
- Download the press release here.
- Read the first few pages of From the Pews in the Back on the Excerpt page.
- Our About page gives some history of this project and includes information about Kate Dugan & Jen Owens.
- Contact us at fromthepewsintheback (at) gmail (dot) com for more information about this project, to schedule a book reading or discussion group, or to let us know your story about being a young woman and Catholic.