The “Nuns on the Bus” rolled into town to spread their message of social justice to the University of Dayton community in Humanities Plaza, on Oct. 10.
The mobile sisters are speaking out against the Republican Party’s federal budget proposal for 2013. The proposed budget, written by Representative and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, runs contrary to Catholic social justice teaching, according to the nuns.
According to the group’s website, nunsonthebusohio.com, their motivation for the tour against the budget lies in the budget’s ramifications if enacted. The site states that budget “… would cut vulnerable children and seniors off Medicaid, take away nearly 200 million meals from low income families and eliminate over 10,000 Head Start slots for preschoolers, all while increasing tax breaks for the wealthy” in the state of Ohio.
Simone Campbell, who led the summer “Nuns on the Bus” tour, made an appearance during the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 6 in which she quoted the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who said the budget failed a “basic moral test.”
According to Una Cadegan, a professor in the history department, many of the women riding the bus have worked in areas that serve the poor and
Cadegan said one of the nuns who spoke at the UD rally, a psychologist, used her specialty to counsel families who could not afford professional treatment. The sister gave the example of a family with a recently unemployed,
“Psychological programs [involved in the sister’s charity work] were literally life and death for this family,” Cadegan said. “They’re the kind of thing that would be under threat in certain versions of the federal budget being considered.”
According to Cadegan and Vincent Miller, the Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture in the religious studies department, there were about 300 people present at the event, approximately two-thirds of who were students and the remainder faculty.
Miller said the audience, especially the student portion, was “engaged” and attentive. He also said the event was the nuns’ largest turnout since they began their tour over the summer in Washington, D.C.
“It’s wonderful to hear these women bear witness to the stories of the life they’ve served,” Miller said. “The sisters draw a great deal of authority from a life
According to Miller, the “Nuns on the Bus” sent invitations to both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to speak on the issues relevant to their campaign—specifically poverty—but have yet to receive an affirmative response from either.
Miller explained, “It’s hard to get press to cover poverty issues, ever.”
The nuns concluded their six day tour on Monday, Oct. 15, in Cincinnati, according to their website.