Witness & Grace Conversations

Spiritual Strength in Turbulent Times

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Presented by Sr. Simone Campbell, Sisters of Social Service, moderated by Dan Stockman 

Watch the session recording.

Sr. Simone shared highlights of her years guiding the "Nuns on the Bus," and her time as director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice. She spoke about how contemplative prayer and community provided spiritual sustenance and kept her grounded through the resurgence of discord and division in our nation. 


Opening Prayer

O feed me this day, Holy Spirit, with
the fragrance of the fields and the
freshness of the oceans which you have
made, and help me to hear and to hold
in all dearness those exacting and wonderful
words of our Lord Christ Jesus, saying:
Follow me

Mary Oliver
As published in her book Thirst

Closing Prayer

We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

Amanda Goman
Inaugural Poem


Sr. Simone Campbell is the Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, a federal advocacy organization founded by Catholic sisters to lobby in Washington, D.C. for policies that mend gaps in income and wealth in the United States. She has led six cross-country "Nuns on the Bus" trips focused on tax justice, healthcare, economic justice, comprehensive immigration reform, and other issues.  She is the author of "Hunger for Hope: Prophetic Communities, Contemplation and the Common Good," published in 2020, and of "A Nun on the Bus: How All of Us Can Create Hope, Change and Community," published in 2014. 
Sr. Simone served as the general director of her religious community, the Sisters of Social Service. In 1978, she founded and served for 18 years as the lead attorney for the Community Law Center in Oakland, California. She served the family law and probate needs of the working poor of her county. Prior to coming to NETWORK, Sr. Simone served as the Executive Director of JERICHO, the California interfaith public policy organization that works like NETWORK to protect the interests of people living in poverty. She has received numerous awards, spoken at Democratic National Conventions and has appeared on 60 Minutes, The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Read Sr. Simone's columns for Global Sisters Report here.

Published by Orbis Books last September, right before the 2020 presidential election, Hunger for Hope: Prophetic Communities, Contemplation, and the Common Good provides readers with the spiritual platform that supports Sr. Simone’s advocacy for those who are on the margins of a fractured society. Campbell shows how a deep prayer practice, the bonds of a strong community, the willingness to speak truth to power, and openness to the experiences of others all inform the quest for a justice that works for all.

See other past and upcoming Witness & Grace Conversations.