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Sr. Christine Schenk

Learn more about Sr. Christine Schenk, CSJ, FutureChurch co-founder, whose efforts whose work in Church reform and renewal calls the Church to become a fuller witness of God’s mercy in the world.

Before joining the Cleveland Congregation of Saint Joseph, Christine Schenk confessed “that my whole life I seem to end up getting into these causes that can be edgy, and if that was a problem, we had better talk about it.” Born in Lima, Ohio, Schenk grew up in a devout Catholic family. And she credits much of her involvement in these “edgy” causes to an experience she had in her Catholic high school:

I went to a Catholic high school with a very progressive principal who was very social-justice oriented. Senior year, we went on a trip to teach catechism to farm workers…it ended up being a huge wake-up call about people who didn’t have nearly as much as we did. We were eating the food, but the people harvesting it didn’t have enough food for themselves. It was a foundational moment. That kind of experience at that young an age was really germane to how I thought about social justice and what it meant to be a Catholic going forward. It eventually led me to where I am now.  

After high school, Schenk went on to earn her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in science from Boston College. After college and graduate school, Schenk worked as an interfaith coordinator with the United Farm Workers Union in the early 1970s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During this time, Schenk learned the community organizing skills from Cesar Chavez that would become so vital to her work as co-founder and founding executive director of FutureChurch.

Resources Included in This Download:

  • Educational resources: A Biography of Sister Christine Schenk with discussion guide; In Her Own Words (Schenk’s Reflection for the 2016 Mary of Magdala Celebration in Cleveland) with discussion guide; Radical Grace  Film Discussion Guide
  • Be a Witness of Mercy: Resources for learning and doing
  • Prayer Resources: Prayer Service for Church Reform and Renewal by Russ Petrus and Jocelyn Collen.
  • Original Art by Marcy Hall, commissioned by FutureChurch