The widely exposed transgressions of priests within the Catholic Church stunned the faithful and sent a new surge of energy through the progressive church reform movement in the United States. Despite the movement's growing profile, the world has only recently learned that Catholic women are the driving force behind reform. Good Catholic Girls is a lively account of these courageous women, as seen through the eyes of an impassioned journalist, Angela Bonavoglia. They include Joan Chittister, the Benedictine nun who refused to obey a Vatican order not to speak at an international conference for women's ordination groups; Mary Ramerman, ordained a Catholic priest before 3,000 jubilant supporters; Frances Kissling, whose fight for women's reproductive rights has shaken the Church at its highest levels; Barbara Blaine, a priest abuse survivor who created the nation's most powerful voice for victims; and Sister Jeannine Gramick, who built a pioneering ministry to gays and lesbians, despite Vatican orders to silence her and ban her work.
Backed by supporters worldwide, these and other women are rethinking Catholic theology, changing the face of ministry, and resurrecting the lost lives of female church leaders. As Bonavoglia shows, the hierarchy ignores them at its peril.