News from the Road

Stay up to date on our road trip!

By Quincy Howard, Dominican Candidate

October 16, 2014

I joined the Nuns on the Bus group this evening to support an effort that is near to my heart. These women of faith provide hope to people on many levels, and it's desperately needed now in the political arena.

I fear that—continuing the trajectory of money's influence on politics—the window of opportunity for voters to have a real impact on decision-makers is narrowing. Now, more than ever, there needs to be a groundswell of civic participation if we're ever going to regain control of our governance, and the biggest obstacle to that engagement is a massive sense of hopelessness and despondency.

During various points in my life I've been a political realist, a political pessimist, and a downright cynic, but I've...

By Sister Mary Priniski, OP

October 16, 2014

At the Plaza Fiesta in Atlanta, a group gathered to meet the bus and welcome the message of “We the People, We the Voters.” As I listened to the stories of families who have been affected by detention of immigrants, my heart broke.

A young mother who was put in jail and, despite her paying her fine within the first three days, was told that ICE put a hold on her release. It was not true!! She spent 20 days in jail only being able to see her one-year-old child through a glass. What heartbreak for her and her child.

It took the effort of a local community organization, the Georgia Latin American Alliance for Human Rights, to pressure the county to let her go. Certainly, the people working together were able to bring hope to that...

By Sister Jean Marie Lehtinen, OP

October 16, 2014

It was also my first experience with Nuns on the Bus and speaking to the need of encouraging people to vote in the upcoming elections.

I was surprised at the warm welcome. People seemed honored that that the Nuns stopped to bring them the message about the importance of getting out the vote, that they can make a difference. The folks took materials, signed the pledge-to-vote cards and talked about their experience as ordinary people.

One young man spoke of his struggle to maintain hope in a political process where big money is used to sway votes away from the principles of democracy. I was...

By Sister Mary Lou Specha, PBVM

October 15, 2014

In New Orleans, Louisiana, there is always some type of event happening. The locals live between seasons—Football, Carnival (Mardi Gras) and Festival seasons just to name a few. These seasons/events bring happiness, laughter and delight to all who attend.

The Spirit is contagious and is often difficult to contain. The “Nuns on the Bus” captured this spirit as we traveled around the city. Next time the bus comes to town, I will make sure I have some beads to share with Simone so we can toss them from the bus!

Our first stop at the ReBuild Center, a daytime shelter for people experiencing homelessness, celebrates the work of Religious Communities. A...

By Sister Julie Marsh, PBVM

October 14, 2014

On Tuesday evening, the City of New Orleans was filled with a plethora of events for people to attend such as “The Night Out Against Crime” which promotes neighbors to meet neighbors in all parts of the city, “the Senate Debates” which would enlighten voters in this close Senate race, a city-wide Inter-faith Prayer Service for Peace that gathers monthly, various ball games of variety of colors…and “the Nuns on the Bus!”

Though the crowd was small, the enthusiasm brought by those attending was energizing. Sister Clare, president of Saint Mary’s Academy, welcomed Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS and her entourage of NETWORK staff to New Orleans and the school. After a brief introduction from sisters of various religious communities and from the men and women...

By Sister Simone Campbell, SSS

October 14, 2014

Because of dramatic weather conditions that caused travel delays I was the only Nun on the Bus in Baton Rouge. How I missed my Sisters. It really made me realize the invaluable nature of our community on the bus. I felt twice as responsible for hearing the stories of the people we met. First we went to Gardere district to a new organizing effort that focuses the efforts of volunteers to build up their neighborhood. We saw the tutoring and computer classes, and heard from residents what a difference people can make when they work together. Some of the volunteers told me that it was the Just Faith program in their parish that got them to ask what they could do to make a difference in their city. Seeing the relationships that have grown in a few...

By Sister Mary Beth Hamm, SSJ

October 7, 2014

When one dines at Friendly’s, a restaurant chain on the East Coast, one of the items on the menu is called a “happy ending dessert”. Today, our final day of Nuns on the Bus in North Carolina, we feasted on a “happy ending” treat as we visited the YWCA Central Carolinas and met the passionate, caring staff and the courageous residents who live there.

For 112 years, the YWCA in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The beautiful four-floor facility we toured today includes residential housing for 66 women, a community kitchen on each floor, a resource room, fitness center, chapel and corporate offices.

A few steps away from...

By Sister Phyllis Tierney, SSJ

October 5, 2014

We were warned ahead of time that we would have a long day ahead of us on Sunday. We were in Raleigh and Greenville, and would arrive in Asheville later in the evening. What we experienced was high energy, southern hospitality, and the desire to make a difference. It permeated the two communities we visited.

The day began with a potluck breakfast at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. We enjoyed good community and sharing time with members. Sister Simone invited conversation around the “buzz questions” introduced by each of us. Mine was “When did you first vote and whom did you vote for?” The highlight of the morning was our community worship celebration. Reverend Nancy Petty announced that it was World Communion Sunday. Pullen Baptist is...

By Sister Mary Beth Hamm, SSJ

October 4, 2014

On Saturday evening, the people of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Durham, NC warmly welcomed the Nuns on the Bus, first to Liturgy and then to their annual Multicultural Festival, which included an opportunity for Voter Registration. Commemorating the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Father Chris Vanhaight, OFM and Deacon Gerardo Chavez presided at what was truly a celebration of the ethnic diversity of Immaculate Conception Parish.

Parishioners gathered in native garb – Indian, Filipino, Polish, Latino, African, to name only a few – and entered into a celebration that truly held some Pentecostal moments for me. One of those moments was praying the “Our Father.”

While the Liturgy was celebrated primarily in English...

By Sister Mary Beth Hamm SSJ

October 6, 2014

Following a spirited Press Conference at the YWCA of Asheville, we “walked the walk” of the message we have been proclaiming on the Nuns on the Bus tour and got out to encourage others to register to vote.  Collaborating with the Mountain People’s Assembly, a grassroots group that encourages voter rights, the Nuns on the Bus (Simone Campbell SSS, Phyllis Tierney SSJ, Margie Hosch OSF and Mary Beth Hamm SSJ) and many others descended on Aston Park Tower, a public housing residence, to assure that every resident has an opportunity to register to vote for the November election.

With my partner, Ruth, we canvassed the 4th floor where we knocked on doors, rang bells and distributed sample voting ballots, Absentee Ballot Applications, and Early Voting handouts.  We were...