La PORTE — The sudden death of Sister Judian Breitenbach, founder of the 11-year-old Namaste Center for Holistic Health and Education at 1402 Lincoln Way, struck a heavy blow to staff, practitioners and clients alike.

“It was not expected,” said executive director and acupuncture practioner Bryan Manuele. The highly self-contained Catholic nun (described simultaneously with trepidation, affection and amusement as “bodacious” in a eulogy given by one of her fellow nuns) carved out an unusual – if sometimes, controversial – niche for herself, establishing a not-for-profit holistic healing center in La Porte, drawing primarily upon eastern traditions. (Besides traditional Asian medicine, the center offers yoga classes, meditation, Reiki, healing touch, shiatsu massage and reflexology, among other services.)

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