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Rochester

Local Nuns Support National Effort

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Rochester: Local Nuns Support National Effort
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It was a long day aboard this tour bus of sorts, visiting city shelters, health care agencies, and youth centers.

And after each stop, a seed was planted.

"It's a great way of introducing them up close and personal for people who probably wouldn't have gone there originally to hear more what they are about."

Local Catholic nuns have adopted the national "Nuns on the Bus" effort. The national tour is in full force, having visited nine states by bus, staging protests and addressing lawmakers about those in need.

"We shouldn't have hungry people, we shouldn't have children incarcerated, but it's a lack of imagination and a lack of commitment."

It might be the presidential candidates who are proposing the policies in November's election, but for the sisters in the trenches, in area hospitals and prisons, the stakes are much higher.

"One in four boys born of color today will be in jail. We have no imagination for care in our community. We would rather lock them up."

And Tuesday, nuns literally drove members of the community to the front lines, and they listened.

"There seem to be throwaway people, throwaway situations. I think we are quite segmented here, people out in the towns afraid to come into the city."

It was a day of very passionate dialogue, the sisters say their number one priority continues to be honoring God's teachings, but says it has to be done in a more creative way.

Sister Donna says the issues aren't as simple as pro-life vs. pro-choice, but thinking of more creative ways to allow women to choose life, through health services and support. With a few weeks until Election Day, the sisters are concerned about proposed budget cuts.

"These are the healthy programs getting them educated, out of poverty, there's got to be an across the board helping everybody," said Sister Beth LeVelley, Sisters of St. Joseph.

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