Nuns on the Bus

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Nuns on the Bus is a Catholic pressure group in the United States.[1] Their name comes from the fact that they tour the country on a bus.[1]

Led by Sister Simone Campbell, they place emphasis on the church’s long-standing commitment to social justice.[1] In different years, the Nuns have tackled different themes. In 2012, the Nuns aimed to draw attention to nuns’ work with the poor and to protest planned aid cuts. In 2013, the theme was immigration reform. The Nuns' journeys are sponsored by NETWORK.

2012 Tours[edit]

The Nuns undertook several tours in 2012, an election year in the United States. The stance that Catholics took on the 2012 tours was split and their political activism questioned as being authentically Catholic.

First Tour[edit]

The bus tour began on June 18, 2012 in Iowa and ended on July 2 in Washington D.C. It covered 2700 miles and nine states.[2] The tour planned to stop at homeless shelters, food pantries, schools and health care facilities run by nuns to highlight their work with the nation’s poor and disenfranchised"[3] and "to protest cuts in programs for the poor and working families in the federal budget that was passed by the House of Representatives and proposed by Representative Paul D. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who cited his Catholic faith to justify the cuts".[3]

Upstate New York and Nuns on the Ferry[edit]

Sister Simone Campbell of "Nuns On The Bus" speaking in lower Manhattan - the Whitehall / South Ferry terminal. This was part of a "Nuns On The Ferry" event.
Three nuns from the Nuns On The Bus initiative taking the ferry to Staten Island where they spoke, on the steps of Borough Hall. Left to right: Sr. Janet Kinney, Sr. Simone Campbell, and Sr. Mary Ellen Lacy.

In September, the Nuns rode the Staten Island Ferry at the end of a tour of Upstate New York.

Ohio Tour[edit]

They toured the state of Ohio,[1] over 1000 miles, starting on October 10 and ending on October 15.[4] It coincided with the vice-presidential debate, a United States election tradition, between Ryan and the then-serving Vice President Joe Biden on October 11.

On Monday, October 15, 2012, they met with Bill Johnson, in Marietta, Ohio. Tea party activists picketed with signs such as "Bums on the Bus" and "Romney-Ryan Yes, Fake Nuns No,".[5] Protestors focussed on the issue of abortion, claiming the Nuns were insufficiently anti-abortion.[5] The Nuns rejected that criticism.[5]

The "Nuns on the Bus" advocacy against proposed budget cuts including "food stamps, social services block grants, the child tax credit and other vital programs" aligns with the policy of US Conference of Catholic Bishops.[6]

2013 Tour[edit]

The Nuns' 2013 tour concerned immigration reform. The first stop on this tour was Liberty State Park, with views of Ellis Island, an important place in the American history of immigration. At this event, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan endorsed the work of the sisters.[7]

Book and film[edit]

Campbell's memoir, entitled A Nun on the Bus, was published in April 2014.[8][9]

A documentary, starting with the Nuns' 2012 tour, is being made by Melissa Regan, a Sundance award-winning filmmaker.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d E.J. Dionne Jr. (2012-10-07). "The campaign’s moral hole". Washington Post. 
  2. ^ Lisee, Chris (2012-07-03). "Nun On The Bus: Catholic Sisters Tour Concludes In Washington, D.C.". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  3. ^ a b Goodstein, Laurie (2012-06-05). "Nuns, Rebuked by Rome, Plan Road Trip to Spotlight Social Issues". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  4. ^ Bopp, Sharon (October 16, 2012). "Nuns’ tour stops in Marietta". Marietta Times. 
  5. ^ a b c Gibson, David (October 17, 2012). "Nuns on the Bus meet tea party protests in Ohio". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Will Catholic Bishops Join Nuns on the Bus?". Faith in Public Life. 2012-06-12. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  7. ^ Gibson, David (2013-05-30). "Nuns on the Bus kick off nationwide immigration tour". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  8. ^ Boorstein, Michelle (2013-08-08). "First Colbert, now memoir for ‘A Nun on the Bus,’ Simone Campbell". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  9. ^ Sister Simone Campbell – “A Nun on the Bus”, Tavis Smiley Show
  10. ^ "Nuns On The Bus - The Movie". Retrieved 2014-07-20. 

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