News from the Road

Stay up to date on our road trip!

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...

Written by: Sister Bernadine Karge, OP

June 15, 2013

Let All My People flourish was my impression of our first stop of the Nuns on the Bus. Throngs of people—parents, students, board members, sisters, friends and neighbors gathered on the parking lot to welcome the Nuns on the Bus. Sister Simone was presented with a bouquet of yellow tulips by children and their mothers who are students in the LAMP—family based education program. S. Simone was delighted to be welcomed home to LA. The group processed through the gate to the courtyard of the school complex for speeches, refreshments, music and mingling.

Leticia Larios, an immigrant mom who joined the program 16 years ago with her children, spoke in clear, correct English of her gratitude for the chance to study English, get her GED and go on to study Early Childhood Education. She now serves on the staff at...

Written by: Sister Ruth King, SSS

June 15, 2013

Our bus arrived at Yokuts Park in Bakersfield around 3:00 PM. Led by Sr. Simone, we Nuns On The Bus joined the over 150 people from local organizations to deliver a message to Congressman Kevin McCarthy to act on “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Now.”

The rally was started by Fr. Estrada, and with his opening prayer he reminded us that the farmworkers were in the field under the sun (it was very hot that day) working the whole day. Then labor leader Roberto de la Cruz shared his experience of organizing immigrant workers, and Dolores Huerta shared her experience with the United Farm Workers. She journeyed with them for several decades. Although she was over 80 years old, her spirit really inspired me.

Roberto called everyone to gather for the march. Sr. Simone and Dolores Huerta were at the front, and...

Written by: Sister Charlene Hudon, SP and Sister Marge Clark, BVM

June 14, 2013

Sister Charlene Hudon, SP: Mercado La Paloma is located in the Figueroa Corridor of Las Angeles. It is in a neighborhood which has a vibrant community spirit and diverse cultural traditions.

Upon entering the Mercado, one is greeted by friendly people and colorful shops that offer crafts from Mexico and Central and South America. There are restaurants that serve foods from various countries.

To meet the people’s needs there are large meeting rooms where classes are given to those who want to start a business; they are mentored in technologies and given ESL classes and many other programs. It truly is a multicultural center.

With comprehensive immigration reform how many more places like Mercado La Paloma would provide living-wage jobs and create...

Written by: Sister Therese Randolph, RSM

June 14, 2013

“I had a boyfriend who was undocumented. And one day he was picked up by the ICE. Then he disappeared. He was only trying to support his family back home. That’s why I came to NUNS ON THE BUS. I want to support immigration reform.”

This message from a young woman in her mid-twenties reflected the tenor of participants in a rally outside Rep Campbell’s office. About 150 people welcomed the sisters with signs and cheers. Asked why they came, other responses were:

  • we just finished a course called “JustFaith” and believe immigration reform is a justice issue
  • working in a local parish, I saw the limitations of parishoners not having legal status…no one should have to live in shadows
  • a very strong passion for immigration reform.

The Congressman’s representative...