Written by: Sister Judy Best, SSND
May 29, 2013
What touched me about our visit to St. Ann’s Parish and the
Center for FaithJustice in Lawrenceville, NJ?
The vibrancy of the crowd who clapped as we got off the bus
seemed a theme for our gathering. There was an electric energy as Mary
Vanderhhoof from the Center for FaithJustice focused attention on the
importance of educating youth and adults in Catholic social justice.
Bishop David O’Connell of the Diocese of Trenton
participated with enthusiasm, sharing a vision of immigrants from his charism
as a Vincentian. He came despite surgery on his foot; taking pictures of
Simone, he was visibly supportive of Nuns on the Bus.
Meeting a retired couple who had both taught with Sisters spoke
of their support of our message on immigration. What comes through this
experience is the surprise of it all!
Could “Nuns on the Bus” plant the seed for a “Washington
Spring,” comparable to an “Arab Spring”? It seems our audiences have common
characteristics; 1) interfaith, 2) cultural diversity, 3) respect for Catholic
social justice principles, 4) spirituality, often outside of institutional
religion, 5) and a willingness to act for the common good.
Simone’s presence and presentation combine joy, audacity,
and a depth of legislative experience and information that are contagious. With
her energy perhaps Congress will also find new life.
It feels like the dry bones of our legislative process could
come to life once again. “Nuns on the Bus” has restored my hope.