Loretto Women’s Network Selects Diverse Group for 2018 Mary Rhodes Awardees
By LWN Coordinators Jean East, Anna Koop, Mary Nelson and Karen Wehrman
Mary Rhodes was a pioneer who represents the spirit of Loretto, shaping new pathways and extending “the boundaries of learning and justice, of human dignity and peace … and efforts on behalf of the poor” (I Am the Way). The Loretto Women’s Network honors Mary Rhodes at Assembly by giving awards in her name to persons who embody the spirit of Loretto’s humble beginnings and work for justice. Since 1981, the Loretto Community through the Loretto Women’s Network has honored women notable for their accomplishments in working for justice and acting for peace, especially for women. These women are an eminent group who are diverse in their racial/ethnic backgrounds, age, religious traditions and occupations.
2018 award recipients
The 2018 award recipients are Cass Cronan, Eleanor Humphrey, Jennifer Piper and Elizabeth Warren.
Cronan is director of EarthLinks in Denver, an agency founded by Cathy Mueller and Betty Ann Jaster in 1996. Since 2009 Cronan has led EarthLinks as a model agency that provides a work program for people who are homeless and low-income to learn skills and create Earth-friendly products that sustain people and the planet. Cronan’s life journey exemplifies Loretto values.
Eleanor is from St. Louis and currently is working as enrichment director at Marian Middle School. Marian is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty through education. Eleanor supports young women and their families to overcome barriers and succeed in their education journey, and she loves her work there. Eleanor was a Loretto Volunteer and embraces the spirit and hope of Loretto in the future.
Piper, from Denver, has a long career in social justice work, especially for immigrants and those displaced by war, violence and poverty. She works for the American Friends Service Committee as an immigrant rights activist.
Most recently in Denver, Piper helps support sanctuary spaces in light of the current administration’s policies. As reported by the Colorado Independent at a rally this past year, Piper asked the large group of supporters to put down their signs, feel the sun on their faces and hold hands. Then she invited the crowd to voice words that they felt compelled to share.
U.S. Sen. Warren of Massachusetts is well known for her work for justice and equality. She is both an academic and a politician with a law career before she went into politics. In 2012, she became the first female senator from Massachusetts. As evidence of her understanding of standing with the poor, Warren once stated, “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.”
These four women will be honored at the Assembly on Thursday, July 12, at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
For those present at the Assembly and those present in spirit, we hope you will join us in honoring these four women and the many courageous women who daily work for justice.