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Nuns on the bus again

By editor - 05 June, 2013

The Sisters of Mercy in America are taking their bus out on the road again this year. The second ‘Nuns on the Bus’ as their action is named, will call for fair immigration reform that puts families and basic human needs first. The Senate immigration reform bill S.744 is to be discussed in the Senate in early June, so six Sisters of Mercy, along other Catholic sisters around the USA, will rally for change in America’s immigration system.

“We are thrilled that the Sisters of Mercy can contribute to lifting up the realities of the broken immigration system at this critical time for comprehensive immigration reform. For too long, children have been separated from their parents by deportations, and hardworking immigrants have been deprived of their human dignity and forced to live in the shadows of society,” said Sister Anne Curtis from the Sisters of Mercy Institute Leadership Team.

Mercy sisters, associates, staff and advocates will be waiting along the route of the Nuns on the Bus tour as they stop in each city. The bus will travel across 6,500 miles in 15 states stopping at faith-based communities and congressional offices to highlight their cause. They began near Ellis Island, the passageway for millions of immigrants to the United States during the early 1990s. The nuns will end in mid-June near Angel Island, once a processing point for many Asian immigrants and today known as the “Ellis Island of the West.”

Sisters of Mercy are involved in highlighting why people are forced to immigrate, as well as advocating for comprehensive immigration reform that reunites families, provides a pathway to citizenship, protects workers and provides for humane enforcement of the law.

Last year the “Nuns on the Bus” drove straight into the media spotlight, much to their consternation, but their mission was to highlight US government budget cuts and the devastating impact these cuts will have on those struggling to make ends meet.  Through a nine-state bus trip organised by NETWORK, a Catholic social justice lobby group, Catholic sisters sought to increase the public’s awareness of the House of Representatives’ budget passed earlier this year and how it will severely affect the poor and vulnerable.

The bus stopped at local offices of legislators who supported that budget as well as at Catholic sister-operated ministries that serve low-income individuals and families.  One stop involved a visit to Mercy Neighbourhood Ministries in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which provides a child care and adult day care to the working poor in that city.  Three Sisters of Mercy who direct this ministry’s work hosted that stop.

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