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SSNDs Travel with Nuns on the Bus Tour 2015

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School Sisters of Notre Dame to travel with ‘Nuns on the Bus’ to bridge divides, transform politics

School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) will be traveling with NETWORK’s “Nuns on the Bus” when it hits the road this month to bridge divides and transform politics. The tour, which will kick off Sept. 10 with a rally in St. Louis, will conclude Sept. 22 in Washington, D.C., to coincide with the arrival of Pope Francis.

Sisters Judith Best, SSND, and Eileen Reilly, SSND, will be riding the bus on different parts of the journey. Both were participants in the 2013 Nuns on the Bus tour to raise awareness for bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform.

Sister Judith will join the trip in St. Louis, where the participants will be staying on the School Sisters of Notre Dame campus before the tour takes to the road. Sister Judith will ride the bus through Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Tennessee before disembarking Sept. 18 in Indianapolis. Sister Eileen will board the bus on Sept. 15 in Memphis and participate in events in Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia before arriving in Washington, D.C.

With the arrival of Pope Francis in the United States this month, NETWORK has planned this Nuns on the Bus tour as a way to capture this moment in history and listen to the stories of those on the margins, raising them up – along with the challenge the Pope brings – to the United States Congress.

“I am grateful to be a part of Nuns on the Bus as we focus on responding to Pope Francis’ challenges in Laudato Si’,” Sister Judith said. “He is giving voice to the voiceless, including all species, as he brings together an integral ecology vital to all of us. During the past 10 years, I have engaged in the dialogue between science and religion. This has given me a new worldview, based on a deep time perspective, one of the broadest contexts for facing world crises.”

The seven-state tour, called “Nuns on the Bus 2015: Bridge the Divides, Transform Politics,” is a response to “Pope Francis's radical call is to change our politics, not just our policies,” according to NETWORK. Politicians and activists must move beyond polling data and soundbites to connect with real people and hear about the injustices they encounter daily, according to NETWORK.

The sisters on the bus plan to listen to the problems and challenges of Americans on the economic margins. They plan to connect with people in the nation’s heartland and take those stories to Congress to further strengthen their call for change. 

“The example of Pope Francis, who has kissed lepers and washed the feet of women prisoners, has been tugging at my heart,” said Sister Eileen, director of the SSND UN-NGO office. “So, I simply couldn’t refuse the invitation to be part of this fourth Nuns on the Bus tour. 

“When its organizer, Sister Simone Campbell, said ‘we’re going to places where there are differences of opinion, to nourish conversations,’ I knew I had to be there.  My dream is that this experience will challenge my response to the call of our congregation ‘to embrace dialogue as a way of life that leads to new discoveries about ourselves and others.’” 

Julie Gilberto-Brady
SSND Communications Coordinator

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