TOPEKA (KSNT) – A group of self-described socially conscious nuns will embark nearly two-week tour ahead of Pope Francis’s visit to the United States. One of their stops will be in Topeka.
The tour dubbed “Nuns on the Bus” is the fourth for NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby. According to a press release, the group “educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation”. This year’s theme is “Bridge the Divides: Transform Politics”.
Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK Executive Director and a dozen other nuns on the bus will lead a town hall meeting in Topeka on Saturday, September 12, at Central Congregational Church. A news release states that the Catholic sisters will also visit service providers and meet with residents in the Capital City.
The group of women will “experience, absorb, and respond” to families and communities “living at the margins”. They say it is a response to the pope’s recent encyclical in which he called for the transformation of politics and the economy by caring for the poor.
The “Nuns on a Bus” seven-state tour will leave St. Louis, Missouri on September 10 and end in Washington, D.C. on September 22. Pope Francis will be received in the nation’s Capital by President Obama and Congress. Campbell says they are traveling to areas with “some of the worst challenges and divisions” facing America. She vows that their group will lobby Congr3ess to pass a budget that “restores economic opportunity, invests in America, and cares for vulnerable members of society.”
The 2,000 plus mile bus trip will include 33 events in the states of Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia. The day before their Topeka visit, they will stop in Kansas City. The day after they will be in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Sister Simone will attend Pope Francis’s address to the joint session of Congress on September 24th. You’ll find a full schedule of the tour at www.nunsonthebus.org.