Social justice advocate to speak at Peace Community gathering

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice lobby Network, will be the keynote speaker at the Sacred Heart Peace Community’s Annual Gathering for Peace and Justice at Sacred Heart Church, Camden this Saturday, Feb. 9.

Network publically advocates to elected officials such issues as peacemaking, comprehensive immigration reform, housing, poverty and federal budget priorities.

Taking place from 8:30 a.m.- 3:15 p.m., the day will have morning and afternoon workshops, history of the Sacred Heart Peace Community, and lunch.

Topics and speakers include “Racial Justice and How to Achieve It,” with Father Gerard Marable, pastor, St. Josephine Bakhita, Camden; “The Perpetual War Economy,” with Father Robert Gregorio, columnist for the Catholic Star Herald;” and “Student Leaders of the Von Nieda Park Task Force,” with students of St. Anthony of Padua School, Camden, and Father Jud Weiksnar, pastor, St. Anthony of Padua.

Sister Simone, a Sister of Social Service, garnered national attention in recent months, first as one of the “Nuns on the Bus.”

The group took a 15-day tour through nine states in the summer to alert people to how cuts in the proposed Ryan budget would harm those already struggling.

Although the Senate had rejected the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the bus tour was designed to alert people to contact their congressional legislators and ask that these cuts not show up in the future.

“We come today to speak out, to complain that the House budget proposed by Congressman Ryan is wrong, wrong, wrong,” she said when the bus made a stop in Dubuque, Iowa, June 19.
Sister Simone gained even more visibility when she took the podium on the second day of the Democrats’ Sept. 4-6 convention in Charlotte, N.C., and again denounced the Ryan budget.

“Paul Ryan claims his budget reflects our shared Catholic faith. But the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that the Ryan budget failed a basic moral test, because it would harm families living in poverty,” she said. The bishops who chair two USCCB committees criticized Ryan’s budget plan in April, the month after the Republican-majority House voted to adopt it.

The Sacred Heart Peace Community, founded in 2002, grew out of the mission of Sacred Heart Church, “to stand on the side of life with all the struggling people of Camden and of the world.”

Contributing to this story was Catholic News Service

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