Joshua J. McElwee is NCR's Vatican correspondent. His reporting and feature writing have earned numerous awards from the Catholic Press Association and the Religion Newswriters Association.

He was the first journalist to break the news of Pope Francis' decision in 2016 to create a commission to study the possibility of ordaining women to the Catholic diaconate, and the first journalist to ask the pontiff about the commission's work three years later.

He has earned first prize in the Catholic Press Association's annual awards for best international or national newswriting five years running, from 2015-19. He also earned second prize in 2018 and 2019 for best coverage of papal trips abroad, in honor of his reporting of Francis' voyages to Egypt, Colombia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Chile, Peru, and Ireland.

McElwee was awarded third place for the Religion Newswriters Association's prize for Magazine Religion News Report of the Year in 2013, for which he was also a finalist in 2015 and in 2012. He was also a finalist for that organization's 2013 award for Religion Feature Writer of the Year and 2014 award for Multiple Media.

McElwee previously served as NCR's national correspondent in Washington, DC, where in 2014 he broke news of two separate secret Vatican investigations of bishops accused of mishandling or committing sexual abuse and in 2013 broke news of Francis' call for parish-level input before the 2014 Synod of Bishops.

He is the author of 10 Things Pope Francis Wants You to Know About the Family from Liguori Publications and is co-editor alongside Cindy Wooden of A Pope Francis Lexicon from Liturgical Press, which earned first prize in the Catholic Press Association's 2019 book awards in the category of "popular presentation of the Catholic faith."

A graduate of The Catholic University of America, McElwee has reported for NCR from 38 countries. He and his wife Kate serve on the pastoral council of Rome's Caravita community.

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New Pax Christi presidents look to elevate church's nonviolence teachings

Loreto Sr. Teresia Wamuyu Wachira of Kenya and French Bishop Marc Stenger have been elected to the shared leadership of the global Catholic peace organization Pax Christi International.

Theologians praise pope's historic appointment of women as members of Vatican congregation

The lack of women members of the religious congregation had drawn special scrutiny in recent years, as Vatican statistics estimate that there are about four times as many women in Catholic religious orders compared to men. Francis' appointments for the religious congregation, which is formally named the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, were announced July 8.

UISG president says group is considering publishing women deacons report

Beyond originally requesting the creation of the women deacons commission, the International Union of Superiors General has pressed for greater involvement of women religious in synods of bishops and in the workings of the Vatican office that oversees the world's religious orders. Claretian Missionary Sr. Jolanda Kafka, UISG's new president, said she believed that such advocacy for women's leadership had now become obligatory for her organization, which represents some 450,000 sisters and nuns worldwide.

International Union of Superiors General elects Polish educator as new president

The umbrella group representing approximately 450,000 Catholic women religious around the world has elected Polish Sr. Jolanda Kafka, the general superior of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, as its new president. Kafka, who has led her congregation since 2017, takes over UISG leadership from Maltese Sr. Carmen Sammut.

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