Forbes Magazine recently issued their annual listing of the one hundred most powerful women. Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox was included (no. 17) in the power ranking. Most women named to this list carry impressive resumes: leaders of industry, presidents of universities and even leaders of governments. Such a compilation is a reminder of the significant and deserved progress of women in our society into positions of great influence.
There is however, a different way of looking at power: the ability to serve, especially the underserved in society and the impact such a life can have in transforming individuals and communities. Although those who fulfill this role today are legion, few of these women will be named to such an elite list as Forbes’.
For example, Kathy LaBue.
Kathy is a woman who has spent the last several years of her “retirement” serving the burgeoning refugee community in the Rochester area. She is Director of Mary’s Place, a center for refugee services, now housed in the renovated former Holy Rosary Church on Lexington Avenue, an outreach ministry of Sacred Heart Cathedral. She works several hours a day, 6 days a week with committed volunteers to provide literacy training for adults, English language skills for children, employment assistance, grants and other financial assistance for Catholic high school opportunities for youth, food, clothing and shelter. She receives no financial recompense but is rewarded in many other ways, she would say. Like seeing Daniel Hamenyimana, a 13 year-old boy from Tanzania attend University Prep Charter School and receive a Certificate of Recognition for being named to the Honor Roll.
Kathy has also impacted our parish in a powerful way. We have come to realize how profoundly in our interconnected world we are linked with all displaced persons by our humanity.
Powerful? Not necessarily as Forbes would see it. Significant and Impactful? Very.
Perhaps we need a new category for lists?
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