About Joan

Joan Lewis

A native of Oak Park, Illinois, Joan has lived in Rome for four decades and has worked for or covered the Vatican as a journalist and author in that time. With a B.A. in French from St. Mary’s College of Notre Dame, Indiana and a Diplome from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, Joan taught French for 5 years in the U.S. She moved to Rome and began an extensive journalism career, specializing in the Vatican. She was invited in 1990 to work for the newly-created Vatican Information Service (VIS) in the Holy See Press Office as the English language writer and editor.

Fluent in several languages, Joan was a member of several high level Holy See delegations to international conferences (Cairo 1994, Copenhagen 1995, Beijing 1995, Istanbul 1996, Doha 2004), covered numerous papal trips, one papal funeral, one papal resignation, two conclaves and the canonizations of Saints John XXIII, John Paul II and Teresa of Calcutta.

Having retired from VIS in June 2005, she was appointed EWTN’s first Rome Bureau Chief in the fall of 2005. (succeeded by Alan Holdren in fall 2017) You can read her daily column, “Joan’s Rome,” (https://joansrome.wordpress.com), follow her on Facebook (facebook.com/joan.lewis.10420), watch her “Joan’s Rome” videos on EWTN and listen to her weekend radio show, “Vatican Insider.”  Her twitter handle is @joansrome

Called “Rome’s Joan” by her many friends in the Roman Curia, she is often a guest on Catholic radio and a guest lecturer in Rome and the U.S.  Pope Benedict named her a Dame of St. Sylvester in 2005. She is also a Dame of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and a Dame of the Constantinian Order.

St. Mary’s College named Joan the recipient of its 2019 Alumna Achievement Award.

Books Published: “Jubilee 2000 in Rome” (1999 Scepter Press), “A Holy Year in Rome” (2015 Sophia Press). Also contributed chapters to: “Walk in Her Sandals” (Ave Maria Press, 2016)  “When Women Pray: Eleven Catholic Women on the Power of Prayer (2017 Sophia), “Gaze Upon Jesus” (Ave Maria Press, 2018), Listening for God (Teresa Tomeo, Sophia Press 2020), Wrote Foreword for “ROME, A Pilgrimage with Mary,” Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC 2018.

Member of the Parish Council at St. Patrick’s Church in Rome (home to American and English-speaking Catholics. The Paulist Fathers have been serving the American community in Rome since 1922.

18 thoughts on “About Joan

  1. Joan, you spoke of an nice wedding for a Swiss Guard in a small church behind St. Peters in which as a surprise to virtually everyone Pope Francis presided. I could not understand the name of the church in your EWTN commentary. By the description of the location I believe it must be Santa Maria della Pieta. Is that correct and what website address would allow us to see the church? I keep seeing a church of the same name in Venezia. We have visited Rome many many times. It is easy as a retired international airline captain. We will come again and want to visit the church you have described as a church of great importance to Ethiopian Catholics.

  2. Hello. Joan:
    It is wonderful to see you interesting website! We met at the NAC Rector’s Dinner. I realized that you are a cousin to Phil and Ed Lewis in Florida and their children which are numerous! ‘Hope you see you next year at the NAC! God bless!

    Fraternally yours,
    Fr. Jim O’Neal
    Diocese of St. Augustine, Fla.

  3. Hello Madam…
    First of all let me congratulate you for all the blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon you.
    Secondly I am sr. Mercy (SMMI) is seeking the way out to reach to communicate something confidentially to His Holiness. Pope Francis, so how do I proceed? As there are no options now to write in post, I would like to email to him or to his Secretary. Please do this favour to me. Or can I confide with you so that you will reach it to His Holiness?
    Please reply to me. Thank you Madam Joan.

  4. Hi Joan,
    I’m writing to tell you how impressed I am with your EWTN program Joan’s Rome. I studied drafting and engineering in college and was always fascinated with architecture. Your depiction of the churches and cathedrals in Rome/Italy are truly amazing. I know it’s a crazy time in our lives right now but I am enjoying past shows on YouTube and such. You’re a delightful woman and ithank God for people like you who have touched my life. God bless you and stay safe.
    Gregory Curin

  5. Dear Joan Lewis

    Thank you for your excellent presentation on the Jim and Joy Show 6/17/20 and your acknowledgements of the NACN-USA and CICIAMS. Catholic nurses around the world are excited about the NACN-USA hosting the 2022 CICIAMS XXI World Congress coming to the USA at Villanova University. With the COVID 19 pandemic international travel this 2020 is limited. As a result, Vatican based programs/activities attended by our membership have been conducted online. I will keep you posted regarding future member visits to Rome. Perhaps we could meet again and share important updates and events of interest to the international Catholic Community.

    May God Bless You For Your Efforts!

    Best regards always,
    Patricia Sayers DNP RN
    President-Elect, National Association of Catholic Nurses, USA
    CICIAMS United Nations Non-Government Organization Representative

    PS FYI Maria Arvonio and myself will be doing a live program with Fr Pacwa (EWTN) in October, 2020 (Date/Time TBA) Thank you again.

  6. Hi from Roma! Thanks SO much for writing. I really do not get to these comments as often as I should! Heartfelt apologies. I use emails and Messenger more frequently! I truly appreciate your kind words about my work and especially what I so love doing, the Joan’s Rome videos! Blessings! Joan

  7. Hi from Roma! Thanks SO much for writing. I really do not get to these comments as often as I should! Heartfelt apologies. I use emails and Messenger more frequently! I truly appreciate your kind words about my work and especially what I so love doing, the Joan’s Rome videos! Blessings! Joan

  8. Hi Father,
    I am so used to emails and Messenger and whatsapp and Lord knows what else that I rarely see this section of my blog! What a shame! I am SO tardy in answering! In any case. no Rector’s Dinner this year but perhaps 2021 will bring better things. If you wish to email, here is an address I use often: whiteledge6@yahoo.com – and I will tell you how it is related to the Lewises! Blessings,

  9. Pingback: 10 Catholic Women Who Inspire Me | Amanda Zurface

  10. Amanda, this is so beautiful and special! Heartfelt thanks! I hope life is now taking a positive turn for you! You have been in my prayers! Sorry for this reply – I just never think of looking at comments on my blog – I get so many comments in emails, FB, whatsapp, etc. A hug from Roma! Many blessings on you! Joan

  11. Hello, Joan, Thank you so very much for your wonderful website and keeping us posted on all the news and events in the Catholic community. I wish you all of God’s blessings.

  12. Dear Miss Lewis. I love seeing your videos “Joan’s Rome” on EWTN. I am a convert of many years to the Roman Catholic Church. Having been received into the Church just as Saint John Paul 2nd became Pope. How may I send an email to you as I wish to share my journey since becoming a Roman Catholic.

    Sincerely yours through Jesus and Mary,. Patricia Frances Bowes 🇨🇦🙏🏻

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