Monday, October 20, 2014

Walking across the country for equality

One of the most incredible people I have ever met is Helene de Boissiere-Swanson, Founder of Katrina's Dream. There are so many things that make Helene the amazing woman that she is. I suppose the top of that list is love. I never have met anyone who is so full of love. I haven't known her for that many years, so I don't know how much might have come from her late husband or from her in-laws. I do know that the entire family is one where love has always been present.

I first met Helene's father-in-law, Father George Swanson, an Episcopal priest serving in New England, many years ago. Father George's late wife Katrina, was also an Episcopal priest. In fact, as one of the Philadelphia 11, she was one of the very first women to be a priest in the Episcopal Church back in 1974. So perfect too for her to be among the first because justice and equality were so important to her. When I met George and Katrina's son William, I could see immediately that he was from that family. He was full of love and commitment. Meeting William's wife Helene was an almost magical moment. The passion and the love were so visible! After Katrina's death from cancer, her husband with son William and daughter-in-law Helene founded Katrina's Dream.

Now I could spend a lot of time telling you amazing things about Katrina's Dream and about things that all three of them have done. I could tell you about Olof’s Brothers’ Love Feast and some truly inspiring things in Sausalito, California. There are many stories to tell though and I want to get back to Helene, so please check out some of the facts yourself by visiting the Katrina's Dream website at http://www.katrinasdream.org/ and consider making a donation to them too (which you can do through the website).

Last year there was sadness once again when William died in an accident, leaving Helene with the whole weight of an equality mission that she had been working on since long ago conversations with Katrina. Father George Swanson is in advanced years living on the East Coast, and still cares deeply about their mission too, but isn't physically able to do as much as he once did. Now Helene seems to be superwoman! Nothing slows her down and she certainly has had some obstacles in her way. She has also had a lot of supporters. Right now she is walking across the country!

Some people might not realize it, but the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was never passed! On March 8, 2014 Helene launched her cross country pilgrimage for the ERA on International Women’s Day with a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Since then she has been going from town to town and from church to church and politician to politician and an effort to FINALLY get the ERA passed.

If you would like to give her a hand (and there are a number of ways you can do that), click HERE.  You can also follow her remarkable journey at http://deboissiere.wordpress.com/

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