It is interesting which stories about the United States get play in the foreign press. In searching Al Jazeera, the first write-up I came across was Kristen Saloomey’s article on Nuns on the Bus. These sisters are led by Sister Simone Campbell and Sister Eileen Marnien and they are an immigration reform group. And they are (apparently) traveling around fifteen eastern states, pushing their ideas on immigration:
This week I met a nun from Philadelphia who works with immigrants.
Sister Eileen Marnien told me how the Sisters of St Joseph bought an old funeral home in her city and converted it into a welcome centre after a number of Catholic schools in the area closed down, leaving them with no work.
“I feel like we sisters do what we have always done,” she said. “If there’s a need, we step up.”
Sister Eileen was attending a rally for immigration reform outside St Joseph’s Pro-Cathedral in Camden, New Jersey, one of dozens of events organised by a group of sisters who call themselves the “Nuns on the Bus.”
They’ve launched a 15-state bus tour to raise support for an immigration reform bill currently making its way through the US Congress.
“We have a very narrow window of time in which to get it done so we thought, what else can we do?” said Sister Simone Campbell, the head of the Catholic lobbying organisation Network and the force behind the Nuns on the Bus.
“It is the urgency of now that got us back on the road.”
Do read what Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, has to say about the group. It is telling that the nuns won’t speak out against abortion, but have no problem pushing immigration reform. Al Jazeera probably loves publishing this story. It shows a schism in the Church and highlights a bruising political battle.