By Susan Youngwood
For the last three weeks, 20 nuns have been criss-crossing the country listening to people talk about the issues that concern them the most. After traveling 2,400 miles and visiting 23 cities in 13 states, the nuns arrived in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention.
Nuns on the Bus is a project of NETWORK, a social justice lobby inspired by Catholic sisters which educates, organizes and lobbies for economic and social transformation. This bus tour sponsors community conversations around seven topics — tax justice, living wages, family friendly workplaces; and access to democracy, health care, citizenship and housing.
At the DNC, seven round tables were set up, each one devoted to one of the seven topics. Nuns sat at each table, engaging convention attendees in conversation.
“We’ve lost a sense of community,” said one participant. “Everyone has to give their fair share,” said another.
The discussions were sincere and earnest; after the discussions, each table shared their thoughts with the group. “The 2016 election cycle has been marked by anger, fear, polarization and hate,” promotional material explained. “And so Nuns on the Bus are hitting the road again, visiting some of our nation’s most economically challenged communities and some of the most prosperous. We will hear their stories and call on everyone running for office to listen as well, and to do everything in their power to end the gap — to close the vast and growing economic and social divides that are weakening the fabric of our country.” All the ideas generated by the bus tour will be compiled in a website.