Jean in Tennessee

Jean Heaton is a 54 year-old empty-nester, writer, speaker and advocate for families affected by addictions.


Where are you located? 

Gallatin, TN—just outside of Nashville.

Are you a cradle Catholic, convert or revert?

Convert:  15 years ago from Southern Baptist Church—then the Methodist Church

What’s been the biggest game changer in your Catholic faith?

Facing a family member’s addiction which forced me to search for help and hope from within the Church.

Name a saint you identify with and share why.

It’s a toss-up between St. Teresa of Calcutta and St. Ignatius of Loyola. With St. Teresa, I saw her living her faith in the worst of situations.  I loved that she found Jesus while serving the poor.  St. Ignatius taught his fellow Jesuits to ‘look for God in all things.’  Both saints teach me to have a radical relationship with God.

When have you felt most valued as a woman in the Church? 

Right now. As I work with fellow Catholics, offering to share the tools that the Church has that are helpful regarding the epidemic problem of addiction, I hope to help those who have been affected by the disease and educate those who have not. I feel that this situation is an example of God making something good out of a bad situation.

What’s your favorite way to pray?

I like to pray and meditate or listen with each and every morning.  In the evening, I pray the Examen.

Favorite liturgical holiday?

Lent.  It always feels so good to shed the barriers between me and God.  It is a period where I focus a good bit of attention to that endeavor.

What do you do for fun?

Anything outdoors, read and traveling.

Three words that describe you — go! 

Maternal, Determined, Hard-worker

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