Another "Nuns on the Bus" tour -- this one promoting comprehensive immigration reform -- will hit the road next week.
One of its first stops: Charlotte.
On May 31, the Catholic sisters will be at St. Peter's Catholic Church, 507 S. Tryon, in uptown Charlotte. The 7 p.m. event in Biss Hall is open to the public, and co-sponsored by several other Catholic parishes in the Charlotte diocese.
The first "Nuns on the Bus" tour made headlines in 2012 for its election year promotion of social justice issues. Its leader, Sister Simone Campbell, even came to Charlotte to speak at the Democratic National Convention. She heads Network, a social gospel lobbying group that speaks up for the poor and elderly.
Campbell won't be with the group in Charlotte. But we're told that Sister Rose Marie Tresp from the Sisters of Mercy in Belmont will join the tour in Charlotte. Word also is that the group may meet with U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., while in the state.
On June 1, a 10 a.m. faith roundtable is also scheduled for Charlotte, according to the Nuns on the Bus website. But no details are yet available.
This three-week tour will cover 6,500 miles, 53 events, 40 cities, and 15 states -- more than twice the distance of last year's tour. It starts Tuesday, May 28, in New Haven, Conn., and will end June 18 in San Francisco.
Other stops along the way include Durham; Greenville, S.C.; and Charleston.
"NETWORK Nuns of the Bus: A Drive for Faith, Family and Citizenship" will lobby for immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants, mostly Hispanic, who entered the United States illegally; speeds up processing of already-approved immigrants; protects the rights of immigrant workers; and ensures family unity.
In championing immigration reform at a time when Congress is addressing the issue, the nuns are in line with the U.S. Catholic bishops. Leaders of the American church have long pushed for changes in immigration.
Latinos make up a rapidly growing percentage of the U.S. Catholic Church, including in the 46-county Diocese of Charlotte.
Last year's "Nuns on the Bus" was more controversial, partly because of Campbell's open support for President Barack Obama's health care reforms, even as the U.S. bishops opposed key elements of the White House plan. And the sisters' group was among those U.S. nuns singled out last year by the Vatican for their "radically feminist themes."
-- Tim Funk
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Posted by Tim Funk at 3:43 PM