Gina Ciliberto is a writer who lives in Minneapolis, Minn., by way of the Bronx. She writes about religion, social justice, food and travel. Her work has been published in Bon Appétit , National Catholic Reporter , HuffPost, ThinkProgress and YES Magazine , among others. She also works as the online communications and programming specialist for the Dominican Sisters of Hope.

In her free time, Gina enjoys fostering bulldogs and companioning small groups of Catholic Sisters and millennial seekers via Nuns and Nones. Follow her on Twitter @ginaciliberto.



Posts By This Author

Sr. Dianna Ortiz, Torture Survivor and Activist, Dies at 62

by Gina Ciliberto 02-19-2021

Sr. Dianna Ortiz. Photo: Johnny Zokovitch

On Feb. 19, Sr. Dianna Ortiz, OSU died of cancer at age 62. Ortiz is known for her international anti-torture activism following her own kidnapping and torture in Guatemala in 1989.

A Love Letter to the Black Church

by Gina Ciliberto 02-16-2021

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song airs on PBS on Feb. 16 & 17. Image via screengrab.

On Feb. 16, PBS will air the first episode of a new, four-hour, two-part series, The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song. Hosted and written by Henry Louis Gates Jr., who is also the documentary’s executive producer, the series traces the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America, beginning with the trans-Atlantic slave trade and culminating in the present day.

Virginia to Become First Southern State to Abolish Death Penalty

by Gina Ciliberto 02-05-2021

The Virginia State Capitol, the seat of state government of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is pictured in Richmond, Va., Feb. 8, 2019. REUTERS/Jay Paul

Lawmakers in Virginia voted on Friday to abolish the death penalty. The Democratic-led House of Delegates voted 57-41 Friday, after the Senate passed the measure earlier this week. Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, said he would sign the repeal into law.

We’re Perfecting Our Capacity for Human Destruction

by Gina Ciliberto 02-01-2021

A sign advocating nuclear disarmament outside the White House on July 4, 2009. Image: Frontpage /

On Jan. 27, former California Gov. Jerry Brown — now executive chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — spoke passionately to fellow global leaders, scientists, and public figures at the Doomsday Clock virtual news conference. “It’s time to eliminate nuclear weapons, not build more of them,” he said.

After 1,300 Days, Pastor José Chicas Leaves Sanctuary

by Gina Ciliberto 01-22-2021

Pastor José Chicas, right, leaves sanctuary on Jan. 22, 2021 in Durham, N.C. Photo: Pilar Timpane.

Today, Pastor José Chicas — an undocumented immigrant who has been in sanctuary in Durham, N.C., since June 27, 2017 — is returning home. His departure from sanctuary comes as a result of President Joe Biden’s 100-day moratorium on some deportations.

Presidents ‘Are Not Supreme Authority,’ Inaugural Prayers Remind Us

by Gina Ciliberto 01-20-2021

The U.S. Capitol during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on Jan. 20, 2021. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

At President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Rev. Leo O’Donovan, SJ, invoked the “Holy Mystery of Love” to be with us “as we dream together.”

TRANSCRIPT: The Prayer Offered at Biden's Inauguration By Rev. O'Donovan

by Gina Ciliberto 01-20-2021

Shortly before Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, Rev. Leo O’Donovan, SJ, a longtime friend and mentor of President Biden's, delivered this prayer. 

Biden Promises Dramatic Change to Trump's Anti-Immigrant Agenda

by Gina Ciliberto 01-19-2021

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks at The Queen Theatre in Wilmington, Dec., Jan. 14, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File photo

On Sunday, President-elect Joe Biden announced that he will unveil an immigration bill — which includes an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. — on Day One of his administration. The proposed bill includes an option for undocumented agricultural workers, people under temporary protective status, and immigrants who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children to qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school, or meet other requirements.

Here's Where to Pray (Virtually) During Inauguration Week

by Gina Ciliberto 01-15-2021

A woman holds a sign at the ‘Get Off Our Necks’ Commitment March on Washington in August 2020 in Washington, D.C. Jelani Photography /

As the Inauguration Day nears, one thing is clear: The U.S. needs as many prayers as possible. Here are places where you can pray virtually, both before and after new elected officials take office.

Resist a White, Male Way of Leading, Trailblazing Women Faith Leaders Advise Harris

by Gina Ciliberto 01-13-2021

Across different faith traditions, a number of women faith leaders in the U.S. broke their own glass ceilings, each marking a historic first within their communities. Amid their diversity, all of the women interviewed here have one common piece of advice for Harris as she becomes the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history: Be fully yourself.

They Invaded the Capitol Saying ‘Jesus Is My Savior. Trump Is My President’

A man holds a sign reading “In God We Trust” during a march to the Capitol that would later descend into chaos when a mob stormed the building forcing Congress to take recess from its Electoral College vote, Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Madison Muller for Sojourners

When a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday afternoon, many carried weapons, wore red MAGA hats, and draped themselves in the candidate’s flag. After legislators and their staff had been evacuated, Trump supporters entered the Senate floor. With them came a Christian flag.

Biden’s Climate Agenda Is Ambitious, But Clergy and Activists Want More

by Gina Ciliberto 12-08-2020

Joe Biden walks past solar panels while touring the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative in Plymouth, New Hampshire on June 4, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

“We have to end fracking. Biden knows it,” Rev. Fletcher Harper said.

Under a New Administration, Can Refugee Resettlement Be De-Politicized?

by Gina Ciliberto 11-23-2020

Margaret Huang, then-executive director of Amnesty International USA, speaks to protesters at the Refugees Welcome protest outside the Capitol, Oct. 15, 2019. Photo by Mike Jett / Shutterstock

On Nov. 12, at a virtual event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Jesuit Refugee Service, President-elect Joe Biden doubled down on his promise to increase presidential determination for annual refugee admissions to 125,000. That pledge marks a big increase from the record low of 15,000 refugee admissions President Donald Trump had set for the 2021 fiscal year.

Yelling At Your Family Won't Change Their Beliefs. Do This Instead

by Gina Ciliberto 11-18-2020

Misinformation is widespread, and it can be dangerous. And while correcting misinformation can feel urgent, a team of experts told Sojourners that challenging our loved ones’ beliefs is a difficult and time-intensive undertaking. This is because misinformation about politics, religion, and health often ties into our deepest beliefs about ourselves: Challenging them isn’t just correcting facts, it’s resetting an entire worldview.

Kamala Harris Set To Bring Baptist Faith, Hindu Roots to Historic Role

by Gina Ciliberto 11-07-2020

Vice president-elect Kamala Harris speaks at a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 27, 2020. REUTERS/David Becker

On Aug. 19, as she accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president of the United States, Harris quoted 2 Corinthians 5:7 expressing her commitment “[t]o the Word that teaches me to walk by faith, and not by sight. And to a vision passed on through generations of Americans ... of our nation as a Beloved Community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love.”

Pastors Work to Stop Evangelicals’ Spread of ‘Dangerous’ Misinformation

by Gina Ciliberto, by Lexi McMenamin 11-05-2020

Pastors serving as poll chaplains with Lawyers and Collars on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Photo: Erik Paul Howard / Sojourners

After President Donald Trump falsely claimed victory in the presidential election at 3 a.m. on Wednesday, he continued to share unsubstantiated claims about dumped ballots, mysteriously found votes, and an effort to rig ballot counts.

Why Some Voters Ditched Their Mail-In Ballots and Went to the Polls

by Gina Ciliberto 11-03-2020

Arely Venegas, 30, votes with her 9-month-old son Samuel at a polling station on Election Day in Huntington Park, Calif., on November 3, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Voters in Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Illinois, and Minnesota all reported that fellow voters opted to invalidate their absentee ballots at the polls on Election Day and cast their votes live instead. Their reasons included concerns about their absentee ballots being received on time, mail-in votes being counted legally, and finding a dropbox for the ballots.

Growing Numbers of Catholics Back Away from Single-Issue Voting — and Trump

by Gina Ciliberto 11-02-2020

A woman decorates her car at an event encouraging community members to vote at an early voting site in Houston, Oct. 25, 2020. REUTERS/Callaghan O'Hare/File Photo

While groups like CatholicVote and others have narrowed in on pro-life, pro-Trump messaging, many other Catholic groups are urging Catholics to think more holistically when they enter the voting booth. “Pro-life,” they argue, extends to honoring the dignity all life from the womb to the tomb, which behooves voters to consider issues like health care, housing, education, racism, climate justice, migration, and criminal justice reform while voting.

Prayers, Please: Ways to Pray for Election Day

by Gina Ciliberto 10-30-2020

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

As Election Day nears, one thing is clear: We all need as many prayers as possible. After you vote, while you wait in line to vote, or while you anxiously tune in as votes are tallied, here are places that you can pray on Election Day.

Nuns Inject ‘Prayerful Energy’ into ‘Toxic’ Election Season

by Gina Ciliberto 10-29-2020

The group Nuns and Nones gathers virtually for get-out-the-vote efforts. Image via screenshot from their Every Vote Is Sacred video.

Behind the scenes, in prayer, organizing, poll-working, and demonstrating, Catholic sisters are participating in a milieu of ways that haven’t gone viral.