Saving Body and Soul
Keri Pickett Essays and Margaret Nelson

This book is an intimate portrait of Mary Jo Copeland and her inspiring one-woman, eighteen-year mission to serve and save the poorest and most desperate among us—men, women, and, especially, children. Like Mother Theresa, to whom she is often compared, Mary Jo is known by her first name, a revered and eccentric presence from the streets to the boardrooms. Many, including Minnesota's leading Catholic, Archbishop Harry Flynn, consider her a saint. Operating only with donated funds and faith that God will provide whatever is needed, she has created a Minneapolis shelter that provides food, housing, and all manner of practical assistance, as well as prayer and hope, for the poor and homeless. Staffed primarily by volunteers; she serves as many as 1,800 people a day. A significant percentage of those volunteers, hundreds, are former petitioners who have returned to repay Mary Jo. "I want to give back," they say. "I want to help someone else like Mary Jo helped me."