NEW YORK (RNS) The “Nuns on the Bus” are revving up their engines for another national campaign, only this time the Catholic sisters are taking their mobile platform for social justice along the country’s Southern border to push Congress to pass immigration reform.

“The ‘Nuns on the Bus’ is going on the road again!” Sister Simone Campbell, head of the social justice lobby Network, told an enthusiastic gathering of faith leaders and charity activists at a Manhattan awards ceremony Wednesday (May 1). Photo by Angela Jimenez for Auburn

“The ‘Nuns on the Bus’ is going on the road again!” Sister Simone Campbell, head of the social justice lobby Network, told an enthusiastic gathering of faith leaders and charity activists at a Manhattan awards ceremony Wednesday (May 1). Photo by Angela Jimenez for Auburn


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

“The ‘Nuns on the Bus’ is going on the road again!” Sister Simone Campbell, head of the social justice lobby Network, told an enthusiastic gathering of faith leaders and charity activists at a Manhattan awards ceremony Wednesday (May 1).

“This time we’re going out for common-sense immigration reform,” she said to rousing applause.

Details of the latest tour are still to be announced, but the bus trip is expected to start at the end of the month, beginning in New York and winding up in California by way of Florida and the U.S. border with Mexico. The tour is to last about three weeks and comes at a crucial time for a potentially historic immigration reform bill that has run into roadblocks in Congress despite largely bipartisan support.

Campbell said she hopes that the timing of the tour, combined with popular support for immigration reform, will help the venture gain at least some of the attention garnered by their first tour last summer, when the bus — “wrapped” in the “Nuns on the Bus” logo — traveled 2,700 miles through nine states. Then the goal was to publicize the plight of the poor and unemployed as Congress considered a new federal budget bill.

The bus stopped at cities along the way, largely in recession-hit Midwestern states, where the sisters and the activists who joined the tour were met at their rallies by growing crowds and media attention.

The “Nuns on the Bus” became both a cultural touchstone and a political rallying point for Democrats during the presidential campaign; the sisters were compared to rock stars and Campbell appeared on news shows and “The Colbert Report,” and she was a prime-time speaker at the Democratic National Convention that nominated President Obama.

Campbell believes the right moment and the right issue are coinciding again, and like many longtime immigration reform advocates she is willing to back the current bill despite reservations.

“We want to amend it, yes, but we want to pass it. We don’t want to nitpick it to death. That’s what we did in 2007,” she said, referring to the previous attempt to overhaul immigration, which ended in failure.

The new “Nuns on the Bus” tour could also provide an opportunity for a breakthrough in church politics, since the nation’s Catholic bishops have also thrown their weight behind immigration reform, pushing for changes but putting a priority on getting the bill passed.

 

Nuns on the Bus arrives in downtown Janesville, WI on Tuesday June 19, 2012. RNS photo by Phil Haslanger

Nuns on the Bus arrives in downtown Janesville, WI on Tuesday June 19, 2012. RNS photo by Phil Haslanger


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

The bishops and the American nuns spent much of the past year at loggerheads following the announcement that the Vatican was investigating the main leadership group of U.S. sisters — along with Network — charging that the nuns were infected with strains of “radical feminism” and were focusing on social justice concerns at the expense of opposing abortion and gay marriage.

Many U.S. bishops also opposed Network’s lobbying on behalf of Obama’s health care reform plan, while others did not look kindly on Campbell’s social justice views and her activism during the presidential campaign.

But Campbell said Wednesday that she and the American bishops are on the same page on immigration reform, and she has invited them to join her group at stops along the way later this month and in June. “They don’t have to ride on the bus,” she said. “They can come stand with us at the events.”

Campbell made her announcement at a benefit breakfast sponsored by Auburn Theological Seminary in New York, which gave a “Lives of Commitment Award” to Campbell and two others.

They were: Lauren Bush Lauren, member of famous clans in politics and fashion who has dedicated herself to fighting world hunger; and Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., an Iraq veteran who was the first disabled woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and an advocate for veterans and economic justice.

LEM/AMB END GIBSON

14 Comments

  1. Disgusted Texas Catholic

    “The bus stopped at cities along the way, largely in recession-hit Midwestern states, where the sisters and the activists who joined the tour were met at their rallies by growing crowds and media attention.”

    So now they are rallying for tens of millions of illegal aliens to be legitimized and take even more jobs from unemployed recession-hit Americans and more money from the U.S. taxpayers and Catholic Church members in the form of aid. And it won’t stop there. Chain migration will follow, as will childbirths. Amnesty also encourages even more illegal invasions. Church leaders for amnesty must be on drugs –either that or they are mentally ill or possessed. In any case they certainly can’t claim to love the USA. Do they really think Americans will want to remain Catholic in the face of such economic and political (border control & citizenship) betrayal ? So they think non-Catholic Americans find it easy to have a positive attitude to ward the Catholic Church when they take such positions ? Not that they, racists that they are, care if the people hurt by their politics are not hispanic. Church leaders will pay for their immorality and stupidity — at least in the next world.

    • Disgusted and no loss to the Catholic Church – you have certainly NEVER read the gospels. Do us all a favor and join another church preferably one with your narrow minded racist views. You’ll fit right in.

      • Rosie–you are so correct. We do not need these silly, shallow, rebelliously immature old ladies running around for attention. They are a pox and an embarrassment to REAL NUNS. Nobody is paying any attention to them and the Church should step up AND CUT THEM LOOSE!!!

  2. Romans 13 teaches us to obey the law. I guess that is part of Bible that these nuns have never read. These nuns should be teaching the illegals to obey the law and return to Mexico, Poland, or wherever else they came from.

    • “Social Justice” and Dissent are the religions these WOMEN serve. They cause confusion and lead weaker minds astray by their rebellious behavior. They– like Lucifer–”will not serve” and should be set free and NOT CALL THEMSELVES NUNS. Who is paying for this, that is the question…

  3. These persons are self-promoters, with a strong interest in drawing attention to themselves. Before reading the article, I just thought they were frustrated dissidents within the Catholic Church, with very declining rates of vocation. However, now I know that I these celebrities are a “cultural touchstone”, had “been compared to rock stars,” and one (the big promoter) even appeared on “The Colbert Report”. Ugh.

    Instead of cheap celebrity, we need a realistic discussion of immigration reform, including how we are going to pay for benefits for a significant additional number of people when we have $66T of unfunded liabilities, mostly in Medicare and Medicaid. It has not been explained, either by these women religious, by Cardinal Dolan, or by other noted advocates of immigration reform, how a society can have both open borders and a welfare system. Until we know what it costs and how we pay for it, the left should spare us from acting like their position is morally superior.

    These persons should be ignored, not celebrated. Their real agenda is to undermine the authority of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

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