‘Nuns on the Bus’ heads to Ohio during national bus tour leading up to pope’s visit

Staff report

WASHINGTON — NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby, which educates, organizes and lobbies for economic and social transformation, has announced its fourth national “Nuns on the Bus” tour themed, “Bridge the Divides: Transform Politics.”

The tour is a response to Pope Francis’ message in his recent encyclical (Laudato Si’) to transform our politics and economy by caring for those on the margins and prioritizing the common good. The 13-day, seven-state tour will kick off in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sept. 10 and end in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 22, where Pope Francis will be received by President Obama and Congress.

“Pope Francis calls for an economy of inclusion and knows that our politics controls our economy,” said Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK executive director. “In order to have an economy that works, we need to have a politics of inclusion, which can be achieved by prioritizing the common good and listening to the needs of hardworking individuals, families, and communities. We are traveling to cities and states dealing with some of the worst challenges and divisions facing our nation. When we return to Washington, we will lobby congressional leaders to pass a faithful federal budget that restores economic opportunity, invests in America, and cares for vulnerable members of society.”

The more than 2,000-mile bus trip will include 33 events such as town hall meetings, visits to shelters, transitional housing facilities, schools, food pantries, parishes, congregations, and ministries working with returning citizens, in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia.

In Cincinnati, the sisters will meet up with Nuns on the Bus Ohio for a town hall meeting on Saturday, Sept. 19, at St. Joseph Church and School. On Sunday, Sept. 20 the bus will head to Columbus where Campbell and other nuns on the bus will visit sites, host another town hall meeting, and meet with members of the community.

By listening, encountering, and walking with people across the U.S., NETWORK will amplify their concerns and will call on Congress to do the same. “We look forward to meeting and learning alongside people in these communities and returning to Washington to advocate for a faithful budget that responds to their needs,” said Campbell.

Campbell will also attend Pope Francis’ address to the joint session of Congress on Sept. 24, as Sen. Barbara Boxer’s guest.

For a full schedule of the tour, visit www.nunsonthebus.org.

Staff report