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A Nun on the Bus: How All of Us Can Create Hope, Change, and Community Hardcover – April 15, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Sister Simone Campbell gained both fame and notoriety on the national and international scenes when she became the spokesperson for NETWORK’s fortieth-anniversary road trip in 2012. With several other nuns, she boarded a bus in support of health and social-justice issues. A practicing attorney for several decades, she provides a compelling report on how the road trip was organized and the intentions that sparked it and kept it energized. Before launching into the political and religious ethics underpinning that event, however, Sister Simone shares her autobiography, introducing readers to the social, spiritual, and intellectual influences that shaped her life’s work. Her religious community was founded on the grounds of improving social justice, and NETWORK’s projects, as well as Sister Simone’s undertakings, draw on a history that is both feminist-positive, respectful of both diversity and tradition, and intended to provide justice for all. An excellent book to join a shelf with Simone Weil’s Waiting for God (1951) and Anita Caspary’s Witness to Integrity (2003). --Francisca Goldsmith

Review

“If there’s a single phrase to describe Sister Simone, it is ‘compassionate conviction.’ With bravery, with courage, with optimism, she is focused on the common good. She is a champion for the cause of peace and justice. She has the will and the drive to do right.” (Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi)

“I truly believe that the Nuns on the Bus campaign changed the national conversation on our national priorities and our budget. .Let me also congratulate one of my personal “sheroes,” and a clear and compelling voice for social justice: Sister Simone Campbell.” (Senator Richard “Dick” Durbin)

“Who doesn’t love a feisty nun? The Catholicism of Sister Campbell…is the faith of social justice activists like Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, the church whose pope pleaded for relief of the ‘misery and wretchedness pressing so unjustly on the majority of the working class.’” (New York Times)

“[Campbell] is an unusual combination of hard–hitting political strategist and poetry–writing spiritual figure…Campbell’s style of engagement on the Hill is part Zen master, part political tactician.” (Washington Post)

“Campbell’s advocacy is rooted in her faith, in doing what Jesus says we should do.” (Chicago Tribune)

“Nuns have played many roles in Catholic history, from convent monastics to street activists, but it’s difficult to think of another nun like Sister Simone Campbell. A registered lobbyist and political strategist, she has exercised quiet but important influence in advancing liberal Catholic causes in Washington.” (Time magazine)

“The Nuns on the Bus rolled into South Bend, Ind., on Thursday evening to find the same sort of enthusiastic crowds that often greet Notre Dame teams coming home after big wins on the road.” (National Catholic Reporter)

“And on the fourth day…Nuns on the Bus came to South Bend, Indiana…the women religious involved in this nine-state pilgrimage met with 300 adoring, sign-waving supporters…” (Commonweal)

“My conservative friends insist Paul Ryan’s Roadmap is the answer to our economy to ensure a rosy future for our children… These courageous nuns decided to follow their conscience and report what the real effects would mean for Americans. Nuns on the Bus are hitting the road with the facts…” (Detroit News)

“Nuns on the Bus share a gospel of community and collective responsibility…The Nuns on the Bus speak with the kind of moral authority that politicians simply do not have, no matter how much they try to dress up Ayn Rand’s philosophy in religious rhetoric.” (Examiner)

“Nuns on the Bus travel the continent on behalf of justice. It is hard to choose a word to describe the interaction between the crowd and the travelers. One could say ‘enthusiastic,’ or ‘excited,’ but none of those words really captures the mood. The only word that fits is love.” (People’s World)

“NETWORK’s projects, as well as Sister Simone’s undertakings, draw on a history that is both feminist-positive, respectful of both diversity and tradition, and intended to provide justice for all.” (Booklist)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (April 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006227354X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062273543
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #578,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By R. Vosburg on April 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It always amazes me when a Christian is not familiar with Matthew 25: 31 - 46, referred to as "The Judgment of Nations". Sr. Simone is certainly familiar with it and the Book of Deuteronomy also. This book provides an overview of her life, education and charism as a Religious. She takes the major socio-political issues of our time and looks at them from the perspective of the Gospels. I found her to be unbiased: She states her position and provides her justification for it - a legal style she is comfortable with as familiarly as she is with Gospel principles. If one has a closed mind or gets all of their information about government and society from Faux News, then they will not like what she has to say in this book; but state truth is what she does, and the truth will set one free; but it is not always painless to examine ourselves, especially in the light of what Matthew records of Jesus' statements in the Gospels. If one wants to know about the ACA, then there is plenty of information available from all kinds of sources, including Network. One did not need to wait for this book to get an unbiased view. One can demonstrate some initiative and find it online, call Network or go to the public library. I use the word 'apologist' for Sister Simone because she does provide just that - a defense of the progressive position. Historically, in this nation, we have always advanced more with a progressive agenda nationally than we ever did with a conservative agenda. (Read History occasionally, Folks. There is some excellent material available here on amazon.com for all) I highly recommend this book; and I applaud Sister Simone for being prophetic - living the Word as it is written.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a most encouraging, in these times, story of Sister Simone's growing up,
becoming interested in helping our disadvantaged and unrepresented brothers and
sisters here in America, joining a religious community of Sisters dedicated to that
mission --- and working creatively and with great energy, talent and heart to help them.

The brief stories she tells of some of those whom she, and others with her, helped
are very moving. With so many crazies in government trying in perverted ways to
ignore and stomp down the poor, it is so encouraging to know that there are
many of "God's angels" leading efforts to which we ourselves can commit.

Yeah, Sister!!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have seen Sister Simone on a few talk shows and found her to be a true messenger of Jesus. Her mission is totally focused on helping the poor and she has been doing this her entire adult life, so you have to consider her expert in this. Besides being a sister, she is an attorney, so she is also an expert in regard to the law. It's wonderful reading how Sister Simone somehow finds a balance between remaining a devout Catholic and going up against our prior Pope and the American Bishops in regard to their take over of all the sisters/nuns in the US. Being a devout Catholic myself, I find it outrageous that the Bishops are jealous of the good work of these wonderful women. Of course, over the years the prior Popes and Bishops have managed to drive most of our sisters/nuns from the church, but thank God sister/nuns like Simone have stayed to help the poor. Sister Simone and I are also in agreement that there is a lot of hope that our new Pope will focus more on the poor and less on politics. I also hope the Congressman Paul Ryan reads this book and maybe lighting will hit him and he will realize that being a good Catholic means helping the poor not the rich.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those of us who have endured and followed the decline of The Church as it first facilitated, then hid, then denied the pedophile abuse scandal within its ranks (including the continued hiding of Cardinal Bernard Law in Rome far away from the long arms of American laws) this book recounts how passionate, religious, true-believing Nuns took on the corrupt American Bishops and a deaf Catholic hierarchy in Rome and, in the process, contributed to a change in direction, style and compassion within a Church they dedicated their lives to serve. It is a fun read and will remind you what the force of genuine beliefs and good manners can have on an arrogant citadel of all-men. A perfect reading companion to understanding the evolving Church under a still-new, Jesuit Pope. A perfect summer read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sister Simone Campbell’s enthralling memoir “A Nun on the Bus” was purchased as a result of hearing Krista Tippett’s interview with her in the NPR program “On Being”. For those interested, it can be accessed at http://onbeing.org/program/simone-campbell-how-to-be-spiritually-bold/7654.

Needless to say, I was already aware of the “Nuns on the Bus” pilgrimages, although I was never fortunate enough to be able to attend one of their events. I was also aware of the powerful work of Catholic women religious in confronting many of the crucial issues of our time with respect to social justice and human rights. However, I knew very little about Sister Simone personally before listening to the interview. At that point, I discovered that she is deeply committed to a contemplative spiritual path, which resonated with me so strongly that I immediately ordered her memoir. I was thoroughly blessed and powerfully motivated by reading it, and I can’t overstate how important her sharing of her lived perspective will be for anyone seeking encouragement in these troubled times. For me, there is no more powerful conclusion than her assertion near the end, referring to the slogan, “Raise your hands! Raise your voices!” which was the mantra of the second bus trip, seeking immigration reform:

“Our nation needs that action, those voices. Our people need it. Our families need it. Nothing is certain in politics, that’s the one thing we know for sure. I also know that my spirituality calls me to walk willing with a broken heart – a brokenness that in the process of opening up releases hope for the many so that eventually justice for all our brothers and sisters may be realized.
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