Mary Jo grew up around UD. In fact, her father was in UD’s first graduating class
in 1960, and her brothers went to Cistercian. As her family grew it was always covered
by the “protective shadow of the Tower,” she said.
It was not until recently, however, that Mary Jo became a student at UD. After spending 25 years working in the for-profit realm with Neiman-Marcus and raising her family, she decided that she wanted to do something for the Catholic Church.
She started working for the Marrillac Social Center 10 years ago. Mary Jo sees her
time in retail as part of God’s plan; her experiences and the skills she learned in
the business world now help her to serve more people more effectively in her current
position as Associate Director of Development and Communications at Catholic Charities
While Mary Jo was starting her career at Catholic Charities, she was beginning to think about returning to school to study theology. She took her first class at the School of Ministry six years ago, and finished her coursework for a master’s degree in theological studies in August 2010 during one of the SOM’s Summer in Rome sessions. “Each class was like another brick in the foundation.”
Her classes on moral theology, church history, and Vatican II all answered the questions of “what do I believe?” and “what am I going to do to keep it alive?” she says.
Mary Jo intends to continue her legacy with UD. She is currently working with Dr. Marti Jewell, assistant professor in the School of Ministry, to develop internship opportunities for the SOM at Catholic Charities of Dallas.