When I started writing about my heroes, I listed a bunch of men. Well, here's the group of women who would make my list of Top Heroes. Their witnesses have been just as powerful to me as the men. (Listed alphabetically.)
- Dorothy Day- Co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, she was a tireless advocate for the poor and social justice based firmly in her understanding of the faith. A confirmed pacifist, she often found herself in trouble with the established church and government.
- Betty Ford- It took courage for a First Lady to admit to being an addict. Much of the progress we have made in reducing the stigma that chemical dependence has had is thanks to her.
- Anne Frank- For one so young, Anne Frank is perhaps the hero of heroes. She was able to maintain hope and light in her life in spite of the horrific circumstances. This quote says it best: "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."
- Helen Keller- A personal fight against her own disabilities make her another of those special heroes. An activist and outspoken author, she was the first deaf-blind person to get a Bachelor of Arts. When I think my problems keep me from succeeding she and Anne Frank humble me.
- Mother Theresa- a human saint. She had many demons no one knew about but kept on moving forward in faith. Perhaps without her doubts she wouldn't have been so faithful. "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."
- Rosa Parks- To take a seat on a bus and thereby start a revolution. It is not in the BIG things that we make a difference. Sometimes it is just sitting down in the right place.
- Eleanor Roosevelt- Another First Lady who took stands of courage. She spoke out on racial issues, she held her own press conferences, she was more than just Franklin's spouse. She was Eleanor- and in many ways FDR was her spouse. An example of feminism before it existed. What a role model for anyone.
- Theresa of Avila- A mystic with a heart open to God's grace, this 16th Century Spanish nun was a theologian, guide of the inner life, and instrumental in the Spanish renaissance.There is deep truth in her understanding: "I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him."