July 3, 2012
By Sister Cynthia S.
What an amazing time to be a Sister! Used to being far below the radar of mainstream media, all of a sudden we were thrust onto the screen in April, and we have stayed there ever since. We pondered how to take this unexpected attention and turn its light onto the values that we hold, onto our commitments to prayer, to service, to community life. And then someone had an idea that some of us could get on a bus. In less than two weeks this thought went from idea to reality and we saw ourselves written large on the side of public transport. Nuns on the Bus caught the interest of people all over the country.
As a nun watching (and somewhat envious of those actually on the bus) I am proud of the creativity of this idea. But more than that I am proud that these sisters did what nuns have always done: they saw a worthy possibility, they agreed it was a good thing to do, and they made it happen. Unlike many who sit around and talk about what could be, the nuns pulled resources, got donations, and were off and riding. Those who know something of the history of the Catholic school system in this country know that’s what happened when it started. Nuns saw the need and they responded, often by opening schools in parts of their convents until separate buildings could be acquired. Likewise, Catholic hospitals came into being because nuns saw tremendous needs for compassionate care of the sick, and they didn’t wait around, they acted.
Sometimes these days we are frustrated by all the red tape of starting a new venture of service (Several years ago I was part of a new project of permanent housing for single parents and children. It took 5 years from agreement on the project until we opened our doors). Too often our acts of compassion get blocked, waylaid or delayed because of procedures and policies. But Nuns on the Bus reminds us that it’s still possible to do what needs to be done. And with energy, goodwill and a bit of humor it can capture even the mainstream media.