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Special Events



We regret that this event has been cancelled due to illness. A rescheduled date is not available at this time. Please check our Calendar or follow us on Facebook for announcement regarding a new date.

The event takes place at the First Presbyterian Church of Lockport, 21 Church St, Lockport. The event is free to the public; at will donations graciously accepted. Parking lot behind the church; additional parking is available across the street at the Erie Canal Discovery Center and surrounding side streets.

Sister Joan’s talk will draw from her newest book, Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life. Booksigning and reception immediately following with copies of here current book available for purchase.

Joan Chittister is one of the most influential religious and social leaders of our time. For 40 years she has passionately advocated on behalf of peace, human rights, women’s issues, and church renewal. A much sought-after speaker, counselor, and clear voice that bridges across all religions, she is also a best-selling author of more than 50 books, hundreds of articles, an online column for the National Catholic Reporter, and a blog for the Huffington Post.

Joan Chittister has received numerous writing awards and honors for her work, and is a noted international lecturer as well as a former fellow at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University, England. She has appeared on “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert, “60 Minutes,” “CBS News,” “NOW” with Bill Moyers numerous BBC and NPR programs including “Weekend Edition Sunday” with Liane Hansen and “On Being” with Krista Tippett. In 2015 she was the featured guest of Oprah Winfrey on “Super Soul Sunday.” She is one of the most popular and requested speakers at the iconic Chautauqua Institution in southwestern New York State.

In 2014 the Annual Joan Chittister Lecture Series was inaugurated at Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA, in conjunction with the dedication of the The Helen Boyle Memorial Archive in Honor of Joan D. Chittister.

Joan Chittister currently serves as co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a partner organization of the UN, facilitating a worldwide network of women peace builders, particularly in Israel and Palestine. She was an adviser for the ground-breaking report, “A Woman’s Nation,” led by Maria Shriver (2009) and was a member of the TED prize-sponsored “Council of Sages,” an interfaith group that developed a Charter for Compassion (2009) being promulgated worldwide with all faith organizations.

She served as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization of the leaders of Catholic religious women in the US, president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses, and was prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie for 12 years. She received her doctorate in speech communications from Penn State University, the primary site of her archive collection.

Joan Chittister is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA. She is executive director of Benetvision, a resource and re-search center for contemporary spirituality and the founder and animator of Monasteries of the Heart, a web-based movement sharing Benedictine spirituality with contemporary seekers.For more information, go to www.joanchittister.org

Generous funding for this event is provided by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.


Author, Lenore Myka, joins us for two programs: For writers, Lenore will present the topic, “Creativity of the Everyday.” What does it take to be engage in an artistic pursuit? Too often the world divides people up into two camps: those who have creative talent and those who don’t. In “Creativity in the Everyday,” Lenore Myka hopes to dispel this myth and other misperceptions about being creative that discourage people from taking part in the arts. Humans are, by our very nature, creative. Cultivation of creativity is key. Lenore will explore how you can cultivate creativity in your everyday life by looking at a variety of writers who do just that, as well as offering insights into her own process. She’ll also give some essential tips for those who want to get started on a project, but are having a hard time figuring out where to begin.

Following a short break, Lenore will talk about her book, King of the Gypsies: Stories with selected readings. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Advance registration is requested for the writing segment by calling 433-2617. Non-writers are welcome. Admission is free; at-will donations graciously accepted.

Lenore Myka is the author of King of the Gypsies: Stories (BkMk Press), the winner of the 2014 G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction and the Peace Corps Writers Prize, and a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize and the ForeWord Reviews Prize. A recipient of a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, Lenore’s fiction has been selected as distinguished by The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Non-Required Reading series. Her award-winning work has appeared in New England Review, Iowa Review, Massachusetts Review, West Branch, and Alaska Quarterly Review, among others. She has received fellowships from the Hawthornden International Writer’s Retreat and Writers in Paradise at Eckerd College. For more information on Lenore, go to www.lenoremyka.com.


Retired Air Force pilot, Ron Franco, joins us for a fascinating look at what its like to be a mission simulation specialist. Franco participated in NASA’s HERA program (Human Exploration Research Analog Experiment) to test the effects of long-term space habitation on astronauts. Bring the kids—it’s sure to be an insightful talk! Taylor Theater. Free.

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Kenan Center is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.