Frances Perkins was the first woman member of the U.S. President’s Cabinet as Secretary of Labor under Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom she served throughout his tenure from 1933-45. She was the mother of Social Security, child labor laws and a host of progressive legislation still in force today, one of the great Americans of the 20th Century. Her faith was an essential foundation of her politics; every month she used to slip away from Washington for a weekend retreat at an Episcopal convent nearby. And she did all this while taking care of a sick husband. Above left: the Rev. Luanne Connor, the rector of St. Andrew’s, Newcastle, Maine – Perkins’s home parish – accepts an icon written by Suzanne Schleck and donated by the Rev. Amelia Hagen, as Perkins’s grandson Tomlin Coddeshall looks on, during a service held three years ago today. The scroll Perkins displays reads, “I came to Washington to work for God, FDR and the plain forgotten workingmen.” The inscription around the icon’s border reads, “Social Justice Is Part of the Implication of Loving Thy Neighbor.” (photo: Heidi Shott)

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