The Catholic Women’s Forum (CWF) is an international network of Catholic women that responds to Pope Francis’s call for women to be a “more effective presence” in the Church and in the world.

An initiative of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., the Catholic Women’s Forum grew out of a 2014 symposium on women and the Church organized by Mary Rice Hasson, Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Helen M. Alvaré, Professor of Law at the Scalia Law School at George Mason University. Since then, the Catholic Women’s Forum has grown into an international network for Catholic women seeking to engage the culture, serve the Church, and collaborate for more effective evangelization.


Our mission is to amplify the voice of Catholic women—within the culture and the Church—in support of Catholic teachings.

Pope St. John Paul II wrote that women are specially tasked with “bringing full dignity to the conjugal life and motherhood” and “assuring the moral dimension of culture…a culture worthy of the person.” (Christifideles Laici, 51).

The Church needs women who think with the Church to be in the forefront of the Church’s evangelizing mission, engaging others with clarity, mercy, and love.

            Messengers of the Church’s teachings—a voice to the culture

            Thinkers proposing new solutions to challenging problems—a resource for the Church

            Collaborators in service of the Church—a vibrant network of disciples


CWF brings the Catholic perspective into the public square, connects Catholic women to each other and the Church, and contributes to the Church’s theological reflections on women, family, and evangelism.

Our affiliated scholars bring their expertise to various audiences within the United States and abroad, providing insight, commentary, and analysis through writing, speeches, and media interviews.

Our symposia have generated over 40 scholarly papers to further the theological and pastoral work of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Laity, Women’s Section, which is now part of the new Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life.

Our networking events draw together hundreds of Catholic women leaders, providing fellowship, faith formation, and professional insight.

Our well-received first book, Promise and Challenge: Catholic Women Reflect on Feminism, Complementarity, and the Church (2015) expands the conversation on women and the Church and is a resource for women’s groups, diocesan offices, and Catholic laity and clergy; two additional books are in publication.

Our Gender Project, initiated after our 2016 symposium on sexual difference and gender ideology, provides expertise, consultation, and resources to assisting various dioceses, seminaries, and Catholic apostolates in countering gender ideology and promoting Catholic anthropology.

Our website promotes a variety of successful Catholic outreaches to women (ENDOW, Walking with Purpose, Women with Grace, and the National Council of Catholic Women, among others) and highlights the work of inspiring Catholic women (theologians, philosophers, ministry leaders, psychologists, economists, attorneys, and others), whose work serves as a voice to the culture and a resource for the Church.


Mary Rice Hasson, Director
Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Mary Hallan FioRito, Assistant Director and Senior Advisor
Cardinal Francis George Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Helen Alvaré, Chair, CWF Advisory Council
Professor of Law, Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Ella Sullivan Ramsay
Catholic Studies Program Coordinator, Ethics and Public Policy Center


Mary Ellen Bork, MA, Writer, Board Member, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Erika Bachiochi, JD, Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Visiting Fellow, Harvard Law School

Sr. Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., PhD, STL, Professor Emerita, University of St. Mary of the Lake Mundelein Seminary

Theresa Farnan, PhD, Consultant, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Angela Franks, PhD, Professor, Theological Institute for the New Evangelization, St. John’s Seminary, Massachusetts

Elizabeth Kirk, JD, Associate Scholar, Charlotte Lozier Institute

Margaret Harper McCarthy, STD, Assistant Professor of Theological Anthropology, John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family, Catholic University of America

Jessica Murdoch, PhD, Associate Professor of Fundamental and Dogmatic Theology, Villanova University

Deborah Savage, PhD, Professor of Philosophy and Theology, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, University of St. Thomas, MN

Michele Schumacher, STD, Private Docent, Department of Moral Theology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Susan Selner-Wright, PhD, Archbishop Charles J Chaput Chair of Philosophy, St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, CO

Pia de Solenni, STD, Chancellor and Advisor to the Bishop, Diocese of Orange, CA

Janet Smith, PhD, Fr. Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics, Sacred Heart Seminary

Sister Mary Madeline Todd, OP, STD, Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia, Assistant Professor of Theology, Aquinas College


Ethics and Public Policy Center
1730 M Street, N.W., Suite 910
Washington, D.C. 20036

General Inquiries

Phone: (202) 682-1200
Fax: (202) 408-0632
Email: Mary Hasson, Director, mhasson@eppc.org
Ella Ramsay, Program Coordinator, eramsay@eppc.org


Media Inquiries

Phone: (202) 682-1200
Email: mhasson@eppc.org