When creativity, commitment and courage come together good things can happen. That combination is found in "Nuns on the Bus," a nine state journey for justice for the poor led by Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, executive director of Network. This journey comes as a result of the house budget written by Rep. Paul Ryan that essentially cuts the safety net for the poor. Food stamps, Medicaid, head start and many other critical social programs would receive dramatic cuts.
To highlight the urgent need for basic social programs, the Sisters on the bus stopped at nonprofit social programs such as the St. Augustine Hunger Center, a west side soup kitchen in Cleveland and Mercy Housing, a home for low income and homeless people in Chicago.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend two rallies in Columbus along with 20 Sisters and Associates of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. The gathering reflected Catholic Social Teaching in action, calling for support of basic human rights: affordable housing, educational programs, food, affordable health care. The mantra spoken by Sr. Simone is one we need to speak every day: "Reasonable revenue for responsible programs."
This effort was not about partisan politics, but about living the Gospel message of standing with the poor. We were all challenged to lend our voices in a call for justice for the poor. Given the spirited responses of large crowds and widespread media attention, this call is touching hearts. May we all stay on the bus!