Jesuit novice joins the JM marathon team
Jesuit novice Jacques St Laurent is nobly donning the famous Womble costume to run the London Marathon for Jesuit Missions on 24th April.
Jacques, who is currently working in Snowdonia with a remote rural community, was a competitive middle distance runner while at school and has maintained his fitness with regular running. However he admits this is his first marathon and he finds the prospect daunting. “The most I have run is a half marathon, and while I try to train every day here in Snowdonia, it has been difficult sometimes because of the heavy snow we have had.”
Jacques is no stranger to physical challenges. Two years ago he cycled 8,000 km from Canada to South America. “After 18 months of cycling it has been hard to find my knees and ankles again and to build the right stamina for running” he commented, “also the terrain in Snowdonia is either slate tracks or boggy moss, so not a great equivalent for London streets in a womble costume!”
So why has Jacques decided to set himself a new challenge? “I wanted connect up with the Jesuit community of friends and fellow travellers which gets involved with the marathon each year. The womble costume sums up that community. And it gives me the opportunity to do something different to the general noviciate life and also to contribute to the work of JM – sharing a sense of solidarity with the Jesuits working at the frontiers worldwide and those they support” he says. And how does this link to his current work in Snowdonia? Jacques explains: “My current “experiment” as a Jesuit novice is to build the faith life of a group of young adults in a socially isolated and economically deprived community. They have lost the habit of prayer and church attendance so we are trying to re-connect. It is hard work and has helped me to understand the need for and difficulty of supporting those on the margins”.
To sponsor Jacques go to his webpage