Des Moines, Iowa — Editor's note: Follow the tour at NETWORK's site, where you can find an updated schedule of stops – Bus Events – as well as blogs From the Road by sisters, including photos.
Last night the sisters boarding Nuns on the Bus gathered for our orientation, in preparation for the kick off rally today. Ten of us from six different communities of women religious in Iowa greeted old friends, like Sr. Simone Campbell, and met new ones. Whenever sisters gather there is an immediate bond. We’re all in this together.
The bus emblazoned with “We the people. We the voters,” the theme of this tour, pulled up and our energy level rose. On this Iowa leg we will be crossing the state, stopping in seven more cities encouraging citizens to get involved in the political process and to vote. As more and more money is being poured into the process, the voices and needs of people are being drowned out. People are being left behind. Our country becomes more divided.
We introduced ourselves, sharing with each other why we are riding on the bus. Each of our lives has been touched by the needs of people, especially those most left out, those on the margins of society. Our hearts go out. We know they are our sisters and brothers. That’s why we’re riding. And we know the way forward is to recognize we’re all in this together.
We are embarking on an adventure, eager to engage people along the way, at voter registration drives, town hall meetings and by knocking on doors for “the 100%” of our citizenry. We’re partnering with local agencies, and I can’t imagine the effort behind the scenes to organize all this. Last night we were briefed on our own tasks.
We then went on to begin our day together in prayer. To remain grounded. To keep connected. We’ll pray for the grace to remain open to whatever happens and whomever we meet. To be able to listen and exchange our point of view. To work for the good of all.
To have hope because we’re all in this together.
[Sr. Jan Cebula,OSF, is U.S. liaison for Global Sisters Report and a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa.]