Our lives at St. Anthony Shelter can be a juggling act. Between the active apostolate of serving the homeless men and managing social and prayer times, our days as missionaries are busy. It is very easy to get bogged down with work or get stressed with all of the emotional and physical heaviness of the work. By the time Jackie came into our lives, we had spent part of the year surviving on later nights, early prayer mornings and the occasional pot of coffee. Of course, the grace one receives from the Lord is the ultimate remedy for any problem and Jackie’s own faith and vocation shined through as she taught us and discussed all the knowledge she has about health and wellness.
Through her own example, she helped us realize that for our current and future vocations one must take care of our bodies, minds and souls. You cannot separate these three areas because in unison they help the person become the man God has destined him to be. Where for most of us we might have been living (and eating) thinking only of what we needed or wanted presently, Jackie was able to show us that our bodies need fuel in order to thrive. Whether it was balancing stress and anxiety, or showing us that food should fuel us throughout the day, the knowledge that we received allows us to live a sustained healthy and balanced lifestyle even in the midst of a busy and stressful environment. Ultimately the greatest “work out” or “happy hour” is our time spent in prayer before the Lord and Jackie’s emphasis on this is the greatest tool or piece of advice she could give us.
- Christian Kleb,
Missionary of the Renewal, St. Anthony Shelter for Renewal, Bronx, NY