The Tablet Staff
During the past two weeks, two prominent Catholic women religious appeared at the conventions the two major parties held.
Wednesday night, Sr. Deirdre “Dede” Byrne, POSC, spoke at the Republican Convention. She is a member of the community of the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. She is an active missionary and the superior of her community in Washington, D.C. Sister Dede, as she is known, is a retired colonel of the U.S. Army.
She attended Georgetown University, where she completed a surgical residency. During that time, she joined the Army, where she served for 29 years as a doctor and surgeon.
In her speech, Sister “Dede” talked about her personal journey and her service to the poor and refugees in different countries. She said that the largest marginalized group is the unborn and called Trump the “most pro-life president.”
During the Democratic National Convention, Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, said a prayer. She had previously spoken at the 2012 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions. Sister Simone is a member of the Sisters of Social Service institute and a lawyer. In 1978, she founded the Community Law Center in Oakland, California, and was the group’s lead attorney for 18 years. From 1995 to 2000, she was the General Director of Sisters of Social Service. In 2012, she led the Nuns on the Bus initiative, created after the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a critical assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States. Currently, she is the executive director of NETWORK, a social justice lobby headquartered in Washington D.C..
During her invocation, she talked about the care for the planet and the dignity of human beings.