Our World View, the Environment and Social Justice.
It is not often that the John Wallis Foundation can obtain an international speaker. But in 2015 Sister Carol Zinn a Sister of St Joseph from USA agreed to give an exciting series of lectures in three Australian States.
Carol enthralled audiences in Hobart, Launceston, Whyalla, Port Lincoln and Melbourne. Her lectures were enriched with her profound wisdom, gained in her years as a leading social justice advocate and environmentalist. For many years she was NGO to the United Nations, representing some 15,000 Sisters and thousands of associates serving in 57 countries.
Carol sees poverty as the most serious environmental issue on the planet. She is passionate and inspirational on how each of us can understand and play our part in countering this reality. In her encouraging way, she reminded her listeners that bringing about change starts “right where your feet are”. We are delighted that Sister Carol was able to speak in places where people would otherwise never have the opportunity to hear an international speaker. This is very much in the spirit of the Foundation and the Missionary Sisters of Service whose mission is to reach out to those beyond.
Wherever Carol spoke, she inspired and challenged her listeners. She speaks out of the conviction that relationship lies at the heart of both social justice and care for the Earth. Real relationships involve respect and reverence for the other – whether that other is a human person, a community or the Earth with all its living beings and the environment necessary to sustain our living planet. It involves openness to the other, the willingness to listen and try to see things from the other’s perspective without losing one’s own. This approach to the other was so evident in the way Carol related to her audience, responded to their questions, engaged people over a cuppa and tailored her lectures to the interests of her audience.
Carol’s Memorial Lectures were not recorded, but she was recorded when she spoke in Townsville at events hosted by CRAqld. She can be heard on the following youtube links:
Entering Carol Zinn in an internet search, you will find a number of her lectures available on YouTube. We highly recommend her lecture given at a conference of the Leaders of Religious Institutes in the US on the encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato Si, on Caring for our Common Home: www.youtube.com/watch?