Last week, myself and two other members of the WAAMSS team had the opportunity and privilege to attend a talk by Sr. Joan Chittister, an American Benedictine nun visiting Australia. She talked about many different topics, and her insights and opinions on these topics showed how intelligent, kind and compassionate she is. Although I find it very hard to replicate and write her exact words, something that really stuck with me from her talk, especially attending a Catholic school, was that although tradition is important and should be preserved, it must also change in order to move forward. To me, this stood out because as Sr. Joan expressed, in our world now, we can often be caught up on keeping the physical ‘tradition’ of things, that we lose sight of and forget the true meaning.

Finding out that although Sr. Joan is highly respected in the Catholic Church and loves her religion, that she doesn’t necessarily agree with all of the church’s ‘rules’ such as women's role in the church, made me think about her statement about standing up for what is right. Sure, we hear it all the time, to stand up when you see something that is not okay, but seeing her being able to recognise something that needed change in something that she loves, inspired me because even I admit that I sometimes just accept things because ‘it’s just that way it is’ without stopping and thinking if it really is right.

With the day itself already being an unforgettable experience, we also had the opportunity to briefly greet and talk to Sr. Joan, and she was even kinder and warmer than we thought!

Samantha Chua Year 12