We had Jackie into the school during the season of Christmas, a perfectly fitting time of the year to have her. The Mystery of God’s taking upon Himself our human nature was still on our hearts and minds, and into that moment Jackie spoke her own words about the gift of life and the wonder of the human person. It was beautiful. She was like Our Lady, complementing what the Son was doing, calling us to reform and reverence the whole of our humanity.
Jackie’s words immediately resonated with our students. It was obvious that her message entirely corresponded to their experience of life. They were particularly attentive to her words about prayer. Because Jackie is such a dynamic presence - attractive, articulate, humorous - her encouragement to trust God moved the students to believe that such faith is possible. I was so happy for them.
And of course Jackie’s teachings on health, nutrition, and discipline, were also of great interest to the students. Their lives are so uneven. As much as they give themselves to a rigid routine during the school day, they oftentimes fall apart when they get home. With no bell to ring them from Netflix and no threat of detention to pull them from their phones, they find themselves exhausted and distracted, in need of reform. Jackie had them in the palm of her hands as she guided them in prayerful meditation about these very struggles, enabling each student to ask himself how he might reform his life.
And she does all of this with great affection and joy. That may be the most important thing I can say about Jackie. It’s true, her presentation is second to none. Drawing from the finest traditional and contemporary places of spiritual research and education, Jackie’s program is simply the best of its kind. But what’s more, Jackie herself is a living witness to what she is proposing. She would never ask us to do anything she herself wouldn’t do. And like Christ, Jackie moves us to live our humanity to the full not by eloquence alone, but by living her own life so well.
— Father Rob Ketcham
Saint John the Baptist High School