Sister Simone Campbell Receives
Presidential Medal of Freedom

On July 7, 2022, President Joe Biden awarded our own Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, and 16 other exemplary Americans, with our country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A Sister of Social Service for over 50 years, Sister Simone lead NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice ( from 2004 until her retirement in 2021. In keeping with a core value of the SSS to “advocate peace and justice for the common good,” Simone successfully advanced NETWORK’s mission of political ministry into the national spotlight with her commitment to advocacy for justice to those living on the margins of our society. Today, as we face a crisis of growing tensions in our nation, she continues her commitment for peace and justice with her new venture, Understanding US, an energetic effort to get people to have meaningful conversations and find common ground and understanding across the aisles ( We congratulate Sister Simone on this milestone achievement, ever aware that the substance of her extraordinary life is made real by an authentic combination of quiet, contemplative prayer and an urgent call to action in faithful justice-seeking and her commitment to the needs of the working poor in our communities.

Click HERE
to watch Simone receive the
Presidential Medal of Freedom

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to see more pictures of this momentous occasion

A Message from Sr. Maribeth Larkin, SSS, General Director
The Sisters of Social Service (SSS) are deeply honored that one of our own, Sister Simone Campbell, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Thursday, July 7, 2022. Like all Sisters of Social Service, Sister Simone Campbell works to live out the mission of the community, striving for the common good in light of the Social Mission of the Church. For Sister Simone, her work has been a bit more public with her leadership of Nuns on the Bus and as the Executive Director of NETWORK, Lobby for Catholic Social Justice. We are grateful that Simone’s fidelity to that call to justice is being recognized.

We celebrate, especially, that our community, in its almost 100 years, has grown. We have moved from being an immigrant community of women founded originally in Hungary in 1923 in response to Pope Leo XIII’s Social Encyclical, Rerum Novarum, to one rooted in justice in the United States and the nations where we minister, including Taiwan, Mexico and the Philippines. May this honor for our Sister Simone renew all of us as we embody the words of the prophet Micah said, “Act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God.”

                                   -Sister Maribeth Larkin, SSS, General Director, July 1, 2022
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors!

These seventeen Americans have embodied the soul of the nation with hard work, perseverance, and faith. They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for generations to come! (source:

The following individuals were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:
Simone Biles, Julieta García, Gabrielle Giffords, Fred Gray, Steve Jobs (posthumous), Father Alexander Karloutsos, Khizr Khan, Sandra Lindsay, John McCain (posthumous), Diane Nash, Megan Rapinoe, Alan Simpson, Richard Trumka (posthumous), Wilma Vaught, Denzel Washington, Raúl Yzaguirre and of course, our favorite, Sister Simone Campbell!
A Glimpse at Some of Sister Simone's Accomplishments

Sister Simone Campbell is a member of the Sisters of Social Service and former Executive Director of NETWORK, a Catholic social justice organization. She is also a prominent advocate for economic justice, immigration reform, and healthcare policy. Sister Simone Campbell (a Roman Catholic Sister of Social Service) is a religious leader, attorney, and author with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change. Currently she is a leader of “Understanding US” a grassroots dialogue effort to promote political healing in our nation. For almost 17 years she was the executive director of NETWORK, Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and leader of Nuns on the Bus. In 2010, she wrote the “nuns’ letter” that was seminal in the passage of the Affordable Care Act. She has twice spoken at the Democratic National Conventions, appeared on numerous television and radio programs and received many awards including the “Presidential Medal of Freedom”, the “Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award” and the “Defender of Democracy Award” from the Parliamentarians for Global Action. Prior to her work in Washington, this native Californian did interfaith state-based advocacy in Sacramento and for 18 years was the founder and lead attorney at the Community Law Center in Oakland to serve the family law and probate needs of working poor families in Alameda County. Her two books, A Nun on the Bus (2014) and Hunger for Hope (2020), are award winning reflections on the substance of her life and the call to faithful justice seeking.
A Few Words by Sister Simone

"I am so honored by this unexpected award! It highlights our work of lifting up the experiences of ordinary people in our nation in order to make policy that works for all. In a time when so many struggle economically and still do not have access to meet their basic needs, our work at NETWORK, Nuns on the Bus and Understanding US is being acknowledged for its faith seeking justice. I am grateful to President Biden for this honor and trust that our work for economic justice and political healing might receive a renewed focus in these challenging times!"

Sister Simone's books are available worldwide

To learn more about Simone's latest endeavor, please visit
To learn more about NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, click here