Jess Echeverry – Speaker, October 6, 2023, First Friday Friars Meeting
"In my deepest wound I saw Your glory, and it dazzled me." - St. Augustine
“People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that.” – Dorothy Day
Favorite Holy Scripture:
“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” - Matthew 6:26-27 NASB
Jess Echeverry is a women and family advocate and speaker. She has survived parental divorce and alcoholism, as well as emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Her testimony includes dark times of physical and sexual violence, teenage pregnancy, years of homelessness, abortion, same sex attraction and two attempts at suicide. In 1997 she met the man she would eventually marry; this man would help her create an environment of authentic love that enabled her healing journey, her relationship with Jesus Christ and her eventual forgiveness and love for her attackers. She converted to Catholicism in 2008.
Her husband Charlie is a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Together Deacon Charlie & Jess have 5 children: 2 sons still at home, 2 young adults out in the world, and 1 lovely soul in Heaven.
Jess is the founder and Executive Director of SOFESA, a 501c(3) non-profit orgnization that has been accompanying Southern California homeless and low-income children and their families since 1999. SOFESA’s mission is to accompany and serve families experiencing homelessness by entering into relationship with them to effect long term healing and to accompany and educate housed community members/businesses in understanding the lived experiences of homelessness. SOFESA operates on three Core Principles: 1) Humans are Sacred (People are special and have a unique dignity that must be respected), 2) Relationships are Vital (Transactional approaches will never solve the problem), and 3) You’re the Answer (Every person has a pivotal role to play in the solution to homelessness). SOFESA serves our families in a variety of ways: from personal interaction, to advocacy and support with public and private services, to organizing community events, emergency shelter, food and bill pay, and providing obstacle grants to help overcome timely economic challenges. SOFESA serves our housed community members as well with webinars, corporate workshops and outreach training.
Jess has previously appeared on multiple episode's of EWTN's The Catholic View for Women and BEK TV's Ladies of Another View; radio interviews with Virgin Most Powerful Radio, Spirit Radio, Guadalupe Radio, and Incorrupto Radio. She has had the opportunity to share her testimony in various events throughout the country including the walk for life in Los Angeles, OneLifeLA twice (2020 & 2023), and is the inaugural recipient of the OneLifeLA Service award (2020)! She has been featured in podcasts including Catholic Answers, Mamas in Spirit, Homeschooling Saints, Vida Initiative and Living the CALL. Deacon Charlie and Jess recorded an episode of The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi which aired internationally in February 2021. Jess has also participated in the After the Abortion Photography Series by Angela Forker to give voice to post abortive traum and healing.
Inspired by the good things God has wrought in her life, she published her first book, ‘Dazzled: Finding the Key to Perfect Forgiveness” detailing some of her life experiences in a way that lifts up and enlightens others who are searching for ways to heal. She is a strong and effective speaker who has been able to, with the help of God's grace, turn those past experiences, and all the healing that she has received along the way, into real, loving help for others.