BATH TWP.: A bus full of nuns made stops in Summit County on Sunday as part of a statewide effort to encourage people to think of the poor and most vulnerable when they vote Nov. 6.
The effort — called Nuns on the Bus — brought five Roman Catholic nuns and other religious officials to the Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath Township, a nonprofit organization run by the Dominican Sisters of Peace that operates a 130-acre farm and education center on Ira Road. The bus later stopped at the Akron Catholic Worker Murray Peace House on Princeton Street in Akron.
“We left Cincinnati last Wednesday to visit a variety of places in Ohio and our main goal is to change the conversation around our pre-election discussions,” Sister Monica McGloin, a Dominican Sister of Hope from Cincinnati, told a crowd of about 70 people.
She said the desire of the group is to influence both governmental officials and voters to consider what she called the “faithful budget” that can be found at http://faithfulbudget.org
According to the website, the group is a collaboration of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faiths, which “promotes comprehensive and compassionate budget principles that will protect the common good, values each individual and his or her livelihood, and helps lift the burden on the poor, rather than increasing it while shielding the wealthiest from any additional sacrifice.”
Nuns on the Bus is not endorsing any candidate, the group’s media relations assistant, Casey Schoeneberger, said. No presidential candidate was mentioned by the nuns during Sunday’s event.
“The point is no matter who is elected, we need a budget that is responsible and takes care of all the people and not just the wealthy people,” Schoeneberger said.
The sisters are promoting the idea that voters consider the importance of protecting programs that care for those in poverty and those who are the most vulnerable, she said.
“They want to make sure programs are not decimated,” she said.
This summer, another group of sisters with Nuns on the Bus traveled across the U.S. “raising awareness of Ryan’s budget” and its impact on social programs. The tour took place before U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was nominated to be Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate.
The 1,000-mile bus trip will conclude Monday in Marietta. The Ohio trek was sponsored by NETWORK and people of faith across Ohio, Schoeneberger said.
NETWORK is a “progressive voice within the Catholic community that has been influencing Congress in favor of peace and justice for more than 40 years,” according to its website, http://www.networklobby.org.
Ellen Rabe of Akron, who works for the Good Samaritan Hunger Center, came out to hear the nuns speak at Crown Point.
She said the message delivered by the nuns is important not just during the election season but “every day of the year. Our government needs to represent every American and they need to be a voice for each of us.”
Sister Mariellen Phelps, a Dominican Sister of Peace, said it is important come Election Day to “vote your values” and the work goes on “even after Election Day.”
To learn more about Nuns on the Bus, visit http://www.nunsonthebus.org.
Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or at email@example.com.