Lawrenceville, NJ - Friendraiser

Bishop O'Connell Welcomes NETWORK's Nuns on the Bus

Bishop O'Connell Welcomes Nuns on the Bus Gathering
Bishop O'Connell with NETWORK Nuns on the Bus
Bishop O'Connell and others bless NETWORK Nuns on the Bus
NETWORK's Sister Mary Ellen Lacey with Bishop O'Connell

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.