Lumen Magazine_Winter 2020



The “mission of family” is as vast and diverse as the stars in the sky. We sat down with three alumni families that have made their focus on “saying yes” a way of life.

The Wald family

“FAMILY FIRST” AS HOSPITALITY On any given day, you might find JackieWald ’10 in her beater of a van – it’s a 15-passenger beast of a thing that her kids make fun of – filled with her own five children, several foster kids and any number of friends and neighbors who might need a leg up, driving through St. Paul’s East Side to deliver meals to the homeless or the homebound. “None of this is official or organized,” Jackie says laughing apologetically, “It’s more a way of life. We’re just ordinary people doing ordinary things.” She and her husband Jeff Wald ’09 , an assistant attorney for Ramsey County in Minnesota, met as St. Thomas undergraduates and married in 2010. The couple always had a desire to serve the poor but as their family grew, they came to understand that service wasn’t something that would propel them

outside of their home. Rather, the goal became inviting others into their family. “We’ve always said that we wanted our home to be a place of hospitality,” Jackie says. “Our call was to put our little family first, but that didn’t mean to be insular or isolated.” Adoption and foster care naturally fit that model of family life and service. They have adopted two children, continue to provide foster care, and open their home on Tuesdays and Thursdays to at-risk youth. They will plan activities like delivering meals, taking a nature walk or visiting a sculpture garden. They might have a fishing day, a farm day or a beach day with the children, perhaps a teen mom and her baby ... Everyone is invited. “Everything we do, we do it together,” says Jackie. “We’re always asking, can we minister together?

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