'Nuns on the Bus' roll into Indianapolis, bring message of inclusion to urban farm

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A group of nuns on a cross-country tour to see Pope Francis rolled into Indianapolis Friday afternoon.

They're part of a lobbying organization called Network. The tour is called "Nuns on the Bus."

The 12 nuns on board first crossed the border into Indiana Thursday, where they made a stop in Evansville and sponsored a town hall meeting there last night.

The tour is Network's response to a radical call by Pope Francis to change the nation's politics, not just policies.

The nuns say the stops give them the chance to help bridge the divide with love and spread a message of inclusion.

They're asking Hoosiers to join the campaign by telling their own stories of healing. Outside the Chase East Side Legacy Center, individuals supporting the cause signed their names on the bus which started in St. Louis.

In a place where a community is challenged to dig deep for nutrition and growth, an urban farm is taking on a new meaning for a group of nuns spreading a message of inclusion and political change.

At the Eastside Legacy Center, "Growing Places Indy" connects healthy food to families. 

"We're in the middle of a food desert. Within a certain amount of walking distance, there's not access to fresh fruits and vegetables," explained "Farmer Kate," who oversees the gardens.

"That idea of just being there, you know, just has a huge impact," added Laura Henderson, executive director of Growing Places.

"What we're learning is 'Growing Places' is bridging the divide between people and their food," said Sister Simone Campbell, the president of Network.

As part of their 13-city tour across seven states, the sisters are on a mission to transform the nation's politics, just like the farm is transforming the lives of some east side residents.

"Nobody should be excluded. The divide must be bridged," said Sister Eucharia Madueke of Nigeria.

"We the people need it. Our democracy is at stake, our nation is at stake and, quite frankly, the Pope says with climate change and all the other things we're facing, our world is at stake," Sister Simone told Eyewitness News.

The "Nuns on the Bus" will ultimately take their message to the lawn of the White House where the Pope will visit. 

"We're gathering the stories, as you know, and hopefully those stories will be put on an iPad and presented to the Pope and maybe he'll just wave at us," said Sister Mary Joel Curcio of Mississippi.

Friday night at 7 o'clock, the "Nuns on the Bus" will hold a town hall meeting at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. From there, they will head to Cincinnati on Saturday and then on to Columbus, Ohio.

Follow their progress here: Nuns on the Bus