Things have to change. And you have to keep changing to meet the challenges of the present day.
Don't say sorry when there's nothing to be sorry about.
I went to Uganda in 1962. When I left I thought I'd never come back, but I only lasted four and a half years. I came back with my tail between my legs, with hepatitis. It took me a long time to get over the illness. It was 15 years before I really got back to the cheeky little woman that I am.
I had to beg money from all over while in Kiribati. We built classrooms and toilet blocks and houses and funded things for schools. I was really good at writing to the right organisations. I worked hard for the people.
I offered to go and look after the Sisters of the Sacred Heart retreat in Orewa and live a more prayer-filled life – something quieter, on my own. When you work very hard, you like to pray. But I wasn't very good at being quiet.
They all tried to tell me that I was getting old. But I like doing things. You don't know what it's like to get old. It takes you longer [to do things] and there's days that you're not as sparkling as you want to be. I've still got a bit of a brain and I've started to make some little prayer books which I'm trying to get out into parishes.
I went to Erskine College in Wellington, which was the sister school of Baradene. I went there at the age of five so I knew the way of life of the nuns, but I wanted to know God more, have a love affair with Jesus, and that has just always kept me going. There's been tough times, some very tough times, within and without. Uganda was very tough at times, but you kept on at it.
Don't be persuaded by the crowd. Do the things you
want to do, the things that you feel inspired to do. Don't let life go by.
Get values that clothe you for the rest of your life – if you're honest, you're always honest.
You have to make choices. You can't marry Johnny and Charles (well, you probably can these days!). You can't have everything. People today, they want everything. You can't do it all. Commit yourself to one thing.
People have to do not only what's right for them, but what's possible for them or what's available for them. I mean, somebody who steals to feed his younger sister – okay, it's a wrong thing to do, but he has no other choice. It's so easy to judge.
Even if I hadn't become a nun I would still have a global view of life, I don't think that's due to being a nun. I'm global-minded.