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Nuns on the Bus Leader to Speak on Poverty, Political Paralysis in Rochester

Sister Simone Campbell and other activists were rebuked by the previous pontiff for focusing too much on social justice issues, but Pope Francis has embraced the church’s role in alleviating poverty.

Nuns on the Bus leader Sister Simone Campbell will speak on "The Reality of Poverty and Political Paralysis" at Oakland University in Rochester Wednesday. (Photo: Nuns on the Bus Facebook page)
Nuns on the Bus leader Sister Simone Campbell will speak on "The Reality of Poverty and Political Paralysis" at Oakland University in Rochester Wednesday. (Photo: Nuns on the Bus Facebook page)

Sister Simone Campbell, who pioneered the Nuns on the Bus tour highlighting poverty and social injustice in America, speaks at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Oakland Center Gold Rooms at Oakland University in Rochester.

Her talk will focus on Catholic nuns’ social justice work to help the needy – the same issue that got her group, NETWORK, a stern warning from the Vatican two years ago.

After a high-level meeting in Rome, the Vatican under previous pope Benedict XVI aid the group was focusing too much on economic justice while failing to promote the church’s teachings on abortion and same-sex marriage.

The current pontiff, Pope Francis, has emphasized the issues Campbell and others on the Nuns on the Bus tour have championed. In her visit to Michigan, she is emphasizing how Catholic sisters work to alleviate poverty and injustice.

Campbell’s talk, “The Reality of Poverty and Political Paralysis,” is hosted by the Pontiac Area Vicariate of Catholic Parishes and the Agape Community of Oakland University.

Sister Janice Brown, a member of the Adrian Dominican congregation, said the talk will focus on “how our ministry touches the most marginalized” and how she and other sisters “follow the gospel call to bring about justice,” the Detroit Free Press reports.

“She’s highlighting how these very ordinary things we do create extraordinary opportunities for people who have very few choices,” Brown said.

The talk is free. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Also Wednesday, Campbell plans to visit the Mercy Education in Detroit, where the Sisters of Mercy offer GED equivalency preparation for women. From 2-3:30 p.m., Campbell will participate in a panel discussion at the Dominican Literacy Center, 11148 Harper Ave., in Detroit. It’s free and open the public. To RSVP, call (313) 267-1000.


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