In the summer of 2012, Sister Simone Campbell and a group of fellow Roman Catholic nuns toured parts of the country to rally support against Congressman Paul Ryan's budget, a plan that cut vital social programs for the hurting poor and the struggling middle class. Prayer groups turned into rallies, and small town meetings became national media events. Sister Simone became a galvanizing force for progressives of all stripes and remains a driving force for programs and policies that support faith, family, and fairness.
Rooted in a deep spirituality of compassion and service, Sister Simone gives voice to the hunger, isolation, and fear that so many people in America are feeling right now and shows us how we can create real transformation in our communities and in our own hearts through the contemplative life of prayer. Powerful, inspiring stories from the Nuns on the Bus tour and from Sister Simone's own life offer readers a fresh vision for a lived spirituality that is at the heart of today's progressive Christian movements working for change.
Campbell activist, attorney, and nun mixes autobiography with a strong call for justice in this brisk-paced, crisp, inspiring account. Having grown up in a Catholic family in California in the 1960s, college-aged Campbell joined the Sisters of Social Service, an especially "modern" order, whose sisters were very much involved in the world. ("Aren't those the quasi nuns?" asked her mother.) Campbell earned a law degree, first practicing low-income family law, and then taking the helm of NETWORK, a Washington, D.C.-based organization of sisters promoting economic justice. Under Campbell's leadership, NETWORK advocated health care reform, work that garnered censure from the Vatican, which claimed that NETWORK was devoting too much time and energy to social justice. "Well, yes, social justice is what Catholic sisters do," Campbell tartly writes. In order to advance the organization's mission in the wake of this Vatican censure, Campbell and other nuns took a nine-state bus tour, highlighting the struggles of low- and middle-income people. Throughout this account, Campbell writes with wisdom, charity, and backbone. She offers a nuanced position on abortion, and issues a rousing call for Americans become involved in the public square. The volume is marred only by a self-indulgent appendix of rather pedestrian poems.