Being a “Nun on a bus”

It is difficult to believe that it has been fifty years since I joined my religious community, the Sisters of Social Service, and began a lifetime of commitment to the quest for justice based in the Gospel.

Over the decades my spirituality and prayer life have deepened to be a contemplative life of “walking willing.”

“Walking willing” to all sorts of unusual places including lobbying on Capitol Hill – and even places like the Colbert Report!

It has been a challenging life of joy and struggle nurtured in community and alive in the Spirit!

Over the years I have learned from my community’s history the intersection of faith and politics.

We were founded in 1923 in Budapest, Hungary, in response to Pope Leo XIII’s call to work for just wages and safe working conditions in the midst of the industrial revolution there.

Our foundress, Sister Margaret Slachta, was the first woman in the Hungarian Parliament when she headed our community.

She spoke passionately about how the Holy Spirit led her to the quest for justice in the light of Jesus’s message in the Gospel.

My community’s orientation to both charity and justice shaped my young spirit from the day I entered and does so to this day.

All of my Sisters have encouraged me to open my heart to touch real people’s lives, hear their stories, and share encouragement along the way.

Recently, I was talking with a television producer about my coming interview.

We talked a bit about the struggle to create community and to be grounded in this speeding world. She surprised herself by choking up and getting tears in her eyes.

It touched me deeply that she would let herself be vulnerable with me in that setting. Something I said mattered to her and let her know that she is not alone in this life. I hugged her and feel more connected to her for her wordless eloquence. Continue reading.

Simone Campbell SSC is a religious sister, executive director of NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, and author of A Nun on the bus: How all of us can create hope, change, and community.

Source: Huffington Post

Image: Theological Horizons

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