Getting to Know Jackie Vega

Getting to Know Jackie Vega

By Alice Huth-Derrah

Jacqueline (Jackie) Vega is a woman of great faith. “You get out of it (faith) what you put into it…it’s very rewarding…it brings happiness and peace.” After moving back to Arizona in July 2020 to “be closer to family,” she began visiting and attending other Catholic parishes in the area. Once she found St. Elizabeth Seton she joined as a parishioner because the church just “feels like home.”

Born in Los Angeles, California, Jackie, her parents, and her younger brother moved to Arizona when she was in the 2nd grade. Baptized into the Catholic faith, she says that her grandmother was a wonderful example of a devout Catholic and was “instrumental” to Jackie in growing her own religious convictions. She recalls visiting her grandmother during the summers in El Paso, Texas; a woman who “wasn’t afraid to announce” her faith to all around her, including in the barber shop she owned. Jackie graduated from Cactus High School, part of the Peoria School District in Glendale, and was a member of the choir at Cactus for three years, an experience she “loved” because they had the opportunity to go to workshops at Disneyland. Jackie’s interest and exposure to music came early on thanks to her dad, who was a DJ, and she learned to embrace all genres, to “include rap and hip-hop”, she says with a laugh. Jackie went on to earn a marketing degree through ASU West’s School of Global Management. After college, she worked for Discover Card for two years in sales, and then worked for a reception hall that provided a venue for weddings and other types of celebrations. Five years ago, Jackie moved back to California to accept a job with a collection agency as a Quality Assurance Agent. She jokingly describes this work as feeling a little like being the “phone police” and she learned a great deal about credit reporting.

The opportunity to volunteer and give of her time “allows me to follow my passions…where my heart is at” Jackie explains. She assists with the live-streaming of the parish Masses and is a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Court Madonna #2067, at St. Elizabeth Seton. Jackie has also turned the enjoyment of a “hobby,” non-fiction writing, into an opportunity to assist other volunteers working on the parish newsletter, and is the newest writer to join the staff of The Family Seton. She says excitedly “it’s my first time writing for a newsletter.” In alignment with her interest in writing and because “it encourages you to write,” Jackie joined the Arizona Writer’s Club six months ago. The group meets once a month to “write together” and share their work and provide feedback to one another.

Jackie enjoys “hanging out with family,” her mother and stepfather, brother and her nine-year-old nephew. She recently attended the St. Elizabeth Seton Fall Bazaar with her mom, an event she also wrote about for the Family Seton. Watching football and soccer, attending concerts, viewing movies, and reading are all part of her many interests. She cooks weekly and tries to eat “healthy”, though confesses with a smile “my guilty pleasure is iced coffee.” At present, Jackie lives with her mom and stepfather, and hopes to have a place of her own in the near future. Happy to be back in Arizona because there’s a “friendliness and civility” here and, of course, the “lovely weather,” Jackie loves being a part of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish and a faith that “supports my beliefs” and helps her fully experience a Christian life.

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