US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Nuns park the bus, but the ride goes on

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

The Nuns on the Bus finished their 2,700-mile journey to promote the social dimensions of the gospel--and protesting the damage the budget passed by the House earlier this year would do to programs that serve the poor. As the bus came to a halt in Washington, DC for a prayer service and rally, 75 members of Congress said thank you in a video message to the sisters.

The sisters drew a boatload of press coverage, most recently from the Washington Post. I spoke to someone on the staff of NETWORK--the Catholic social justice lobby that sponsored the tour--and complimented her on what many have referred to as a "media savvy" campaign. She in effect told me that there was no media strategy for the tour--it was all just good luck.

Believe or not, I totally believe it. We here at US Catholic call it the "nuns on tractors" effect: The press loves a story about "nuns" doing something apparentally out of the ordinary--like driving tractors or playing basketball--except this time there's nothing out of the ordinary at all, at least if you are in the know. The sisters have been doing social justice since before we called it "social justice."

Isn't it great that the rest of the world is discovering that, too?