Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

The Need for Women as Priests

The Need for Women as Priests

More From Theresa

In this video

Kane discusses why she believes women should be ordained as priests and the times in her own work when it would have been helpful.

Theresa's Biography

Three Attributes to Describe Herself: Peaceful, partygoer, and social
Proudest Accomplishment: Her life decision to become a Catholic nun.
Special Guests: Her mother, sister, and niece traveled from New York to be in the audience during her 1979 papal greeting.
Back to School: She went back to school in her mid-50s for a Master's in Women's Studies. 

In 1979, Sister Theresa Kane was serving as President of the US Leadership of the Women Religious when she was invited to publicly address Pope John Paul II during his visit to the National Shrine in Washington DC. She came before the Pope and the packed pews and said quietly: “We have heard the powerful message of our church addressing the dignity and reverence of all persons. As women, we have pondered these words." The Church, "must respond by providing the possibility of women as persons being included in all ministries.” While the Pontiff himself did not immediately respond, Sister Theresa’s words were broadcast and televised around the world. They continue to reverberate today. She says her plea was “a surprise” to the public, “but not to professional theologians or those in the sisterhood…we were looking at the role of women in the church and society and I was quite imbued in that culture.”
 
She has continued to speak, to teach, and to lobby for the expansion of women’s roles within the Church. And she left an impression: When a member of Sister Theresa’s order met with the Pope nineteen years later, he made note of the connection and asked if the sister knew her. The reply was “yes.” John Paul II asked the sister—not once, but twice—to “give my regards to Sister Kane.” 

Related Videos

Val Demings
Val Demings
First Female Chief of Police, Orlando, FL

Val Demings’ parents—her mother a maid and her father a janitor—never graduated from high school, but they instilled in their daughter the message that Demings co...

Laura Owens
Laura Owens
Artist

Laura Owens is a Los Angeles-based visual artist whose often largely-scaled paintings represent a blend of abstract and figurative, incorporating whimsical doodles and fine line dr...

Meg Whitman
Meg Whitman
Fortune 500 CEO

Meg Whitman is not your typical Silicon Valley tycoon. Not only the rare woman in a largely male club, Whitman was neither a tech geek nor web-obsessed venture capitalist when she ...

Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Former Secretary of State

Raised in Birmingham, Alabama Rice was on her way to becoming a concert pianist before turning to international relations and developing a career as a respected Soviet specialist. ...