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“One of the most important things I’ve learned from this project is that the differences between people don’t really matter as much as we think they do,” wrote Erin Dwan in the first of her essays for the 2019 SisterStory project. Her writings are based on the evolving relationship with Verona Wangler, a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids.

“The gap in age between me and Sister Verona, about 74 years, has faded into the background of our interactions. When we talk, I feel like the generational rift between us disappears and that we can both interact as equals and friends. Our variations in lifestyle, too, are also not as extreme as I had assumed they would be. Although Sister Verona is a Dominican Sister and I’m a student without deep connections to the Catholic Church, we had so much more in common than I expected. We’re both close with our siblings and we have the same quirky sense of humor.”

Erin and Sister Verona are just one of the Sister-Student pairs who met and formed friendships as part of this year’s national SisterStory oral history project.