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'We're Here to Support Our Sisters': Attending the Nuns on the Bus Rally

Sister Simone Campbell (waving) and other sisters from the "Nuns on the Bus" tour wave to a crowd of about 120 people waiting for them on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Monday, July 2, 2012. Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World.

Crowds of reporters and enthusiastic supporters gathered in front of the United Methodist Building to welcome the "Nuns on the Bus" back to Washington, DC. The song "Eye of the Tiger" played as the nuns got off the bus, much as if they were rock stars entering a sold-out concert.

Dozens of hand-made signs with messages such as, “You speak truth and power,” colored the rally.

The sisters hope to influence Congress to create “reasonable revenue for responsible programs,” the five-word mantra for their alternative budget . Driving for “faith, family and fairness,” their journey, says the sisters was “spirit-driven.” 


I was able to speak with some of the participants at the rally and asked them why they were waiting in the heat of summer to support these nuns. Here are some of their quotes:

 “[I’m] here because of how unfair the Ryan budget is,” --Grace Elliott, 21, Birmingham, AL.

“I really want to support the great cause of human rights and dignity issues,” --Danica Johnson, 25, Washington, DC.

“We’re here to support our sisters,” --Sister Constance Kelly, 50, New York City, NY; Sister Patricia Donlin, 49, Silver Springs, MD.

“I agree with the nuns, in terms of the cuts and making social services untenable. Poor people should not carry the burden of these cuts.” –Betty Thompson, 62, Takoma Park, MD.

“I have worked for a variety of Catholic organizations and I have been shocked by these cuts. I remain a Catholic because my mother always taught me that it doesn’t matter what men say. Popes come and go, but the church stays. I know what Jesus says: It is the Church who comforts the oppressed.” –Honora Price, 55, Arlington, VA.

“I’m 81 years old, and I’m still going! Now, if that isn’t dedication …” –Sister Diane, 81, “Nuns on the Bus” participant.

“We care for the least among us, and we care for the most of us,” –Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Nuns on the Bus.

Courtney-ryanCourtney Ryan is media relations intern at Bread for the World and a student at Eastern Mennonite University.



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