News from the Road

Stay up to date on our road trip!

By Sister Mary McCauley, BVM

By 9:00 a.m. on Thursday morning the “Nuns on the Bus” arrived at New Horizon Presbyterian Church in Council Bluffs, IA.  We were greeted warmly by a number of Mercy and Notre Dame Sisters from Omaha, as well as supportive and curious residents of Council Bluffs.

Sister Claudia Robinson, the Director of Interfaith Response welcomed us.  A number of the people present were long-time volunteers for this service agency, whose major goal is to prevent homelessness.

Sister Simone then introduced the Iowa Bus Riders, explaining the reason for this ten-state tour.  Those assembled resonated with the focus of our tour…that we are about living the Constitution…that our bus ride is about “We the People have the Power!  We the People have the privilege and...

What a day! Because we had such a high emotion and jam-packed day today (events with Progress Iowa, Iowa CCI, and of course our kickoff with Vice President Biden), we decided that we would all offer a few words of reflection how we are feeling after 24 hours of being Iowa’s “Nuns on the Bus”:

“Collaborative effort of the religious women of the upper Mississippi valley has been significant for me for some time. The opportunity to broaden this experience by being one of the sisters riding the bus is truly meaningful. What a cause we are promoting—each coming from our unique perspective for the good of “We the People,” the 100%! A highlight of the day was today during door-knocking with Iowa CCI, when an African-American woman answered her door, immediately affirmed the need for raising the minimum wage, and stated that she would definitely be voting in the November election...

Vice President Biden signs the bus!

By Sister Jan Cebula, OSF

Des Moines, Iowa: “Vote people first! Vote people first!” shouted the folks gathered at Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement as our bus pulled up. Stepping off the bus to cheers was both humbling and energizing. The moment captured what we’re really about. Joining together, encouraging one another, to do what we really care about: putting people first.

We’d already had quite a morning! Day One of Nuns on the Bus was one huge swoosh of energy! We were all swept up in the surge emanating from people passionate about what counts.

Iowa sisters gather by the bus.

By Sister Jan Cebula, OSF

Des Moines, Iowa. Last night the sisters boarding Nuns on the Bus gathered for our orientation, in preparation for the kick off rally today. Ten of us from six different communities of women religious in Iowa greeted old friends and met new ones. Whenever sisters gather there is an immediate bond. We’re all in this together. 

The bus emblazoned with “We the People. We the Voters,” the theme of this tour, pulled up and our energy level rose. On this Iowa leg we will be crossing the state, stopping in seven cities encouraging citizens to get involved in the political process and to vote. As more and more money is being poured into the process, the voices and needs of people are being drowned out. People are being left behind. Our country becomes more divided.

We introduced ourselves, sharing...

Written by: Sister Bernadine Karge, OP

June 18, 2013

Fog, fear and freedom were my impressions of the final assembly of Nuns On The Bus for 2013 with more than a hundred persons on the banks of San Francisco Bay overlooking Angel Island and Alcatraz! The morning sun dissipated the usual fog over the bay. Three short weeks ago the sun also dissipated the fog over Liberty Island as the Nuns On The Bus, began their 6800 mile journey around the eastern, southern and western perimeter of the United States to promote commonsense immigration reform.

Three speakers shared their family immigrant stories, which included the grandson of a Chinese woman who spent many months in detention on Angel Island until she could prove to the satisfaction of the immigration authorities that she was the wife of an established merchant in Chinatown in San Francisco. Two Episcopalian...

Written by: Sister Marilyn Wilson, BVM

June 17, 2013

Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. nine Nuns on the Bus were warmly welcomed at the Presentation Motherhouse by an energetic crowd of over 200. As this was the last evening event before the final closing ceremonies the next day, the focus was on the many break-a-bit-of-your-heart stories that each sister experienced on the sacred pilgrimage across 6500 miles.

Beginning with the three sisters who had traveled the whole way from Connecticut to San Francisco, (Simone Campbell SSS, Mary Ellen Lacey DC, Elaine Betancourt CSJ) we heard with passion and tears the heart-rending tales of suffering, resiliency, courage and hope of folks met on the way.

  • The story from San Diego about the border fence that stretches out into the ocean and separates families and loved ones. But the ocean knows no...

Written by: Sister Elaine Betoncourt, CSJ

June 16, 2013

Sunday afternoon a crowd of about 100 people gathered to welcome us and to hear of the wonderful services the staff at St. Mary's Center renders to refugees, immigrants and the homeless.

Sister Simone and several nuns on the bus shared stories of their experiences during our 15-state tour of the past three weeks, recounting the difficulties immigrants face in our country because of our broken immigration system, and their persevering and courageous efforts to organize themselves to get their needs met. The audience raised several insightful questions, and once again we ended with our Raise Your Hands, Raise your Voice for Comprehensive Immigration Reform NOW.

Written by: Sister Susan Maloney, SNJM

June 16, 2013

“The People Rejoice” was my impression of our stop of Nuns on the Bus at Christ the King Catholic Parish.

With open arms, about 200 adults, youth and children gathered at the church to greet the Nuns on the Bus. After a gracious reception by the pastor Father Brian Joyce, each sister was welcomed by an individual member of the parish. Sister Simone and the sisters circulated among the crowd to explain the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

We participated in the Eucharistic Celebration and prayed for the needs of our country, the church and particularly families who are separated because of lack of a fair and just federal legislation on immigration.

After Mass, Sister Simone addressed parishioners and explained the opportunity before us as a nation to fix the broken immigration...

Written by: Sister Susan Maloney, SNJM

June 15, 2013

At Forty Acres, we Nuns on the Bus stopped to pray and honor all migrants who worked in this country. As we stood in the circle of prayer Sister Simone asked each Sister and NOTB friends who were present to share a Scripture passage. We spoke from our hearts for the need to honor all those who do the hard back-breaking work of bringing food to the tables of American families. We thanked God for the courageous women and men working for justice on behalf of immigrants.

Forty Acres served as the headquarters for the first permanent agricultural labor union in the United States, the United Farmworkers of America. Forty Acres holds extraordinary national significance for its close association with the career of Cesar Chavez, the farmworker movement, and a wide range of reform movements that helped define...

Written by: Sister Susan Maloney, SNJM

June 15, 2013

We were enthusiastically greeted by over 150 people at Yokuts Park in Bakersfield, California. A coalition of labor unions, churches and citizens of Bakersfield met us on a very hot afternoon. Dolores Huerta, labor leader and civil rights activist, spoke to us about the importance of standing in solidarity with each other. She co-founded with Cesar Chavez the National Farmworkers Association and has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for worker’s rights. It was thrilling to be with her.

Paula, a young DREAMer, spoke of her struggle and success in obtaining an education and graduating from college. She dreams and works for comprehensive immigration reform. Father Richard Estrada from Los Angeles encouraged us to keep our faith and belief in God as we work for comprehensive...