Visiting US sister challenges Catholics to speak up

Sr Joan Chittister OSB (Parramatta Diocese)

American theologian, author and speaker Sr Joan Chittister OSB discussed synodality in the Church at a recent presentation hosted by Catholic Religious Australia and Parramatta Diocese.

The “Roots and Wings: The Emergence of a Synodal Church” event was one of a number of speaking engagements Sr Joan has held throughout Australia in recent weeks.

Sr Joan encouraged the 160 religious and clergy who gathered in Parramatta to speak up for synodality in a post-Vatican II Church.

“You have to stop sitting there with your jaw loose, hoping that somebody else will say something important … You must speak up,” she said.

Sr Joan worked her way through the major themes and documents of the Second Vatican Council, citing the liberating movements that were unleashed by the authority of a General Ecumenical Council and the Holy Spirit.

“People do not belong to the Church, they are the Church,” Sr Joan reminded her audience, impressing on them that the believer has both the right and a duty to use their gifts in the Church.”

Anne Walker, Catholic Religious Australia’s national executive director, said Sr Joan “doesn’t pull any punches”.

“Her speaking circuit these past weeks has provided a fitting stimulus for Catholics in this time of synodality consultations and Plenary Council discussions.”

On Thursday, Sr Joan will take part in an online discussion with John Warhurst, exploring issues of Church renewal ahead of the second assembly of the Plenary Council. Details: Joan Chittister in Conversation with John Warhurst.


Benedictine Sister challenges Catholics to step up, speak up (By Teresa Pirola, Catholic Religious Australia)


Warm welcome for fearless speaker (The Southern Cross)

Joan Chittister: What is the ‘new’ trying to emerge in Benedictine life? (The Good Oil) 

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