5 Feb 2019
Mary Jo Timlin-Hoag, First Woman to Become President and CEO of CAMM
Rooted in Our Blessed Mother
—and Grafted in the Vincentian Vine
When Mary Jo Timlin-Hoag came to the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal (CAMM) a year ago, she was the second layperson to serve CAMM as Senior Executive Director and the first woman to run the organization. Now, CAMM can proudly announce that in our 104-year history, she’s also the first woman to become President and CEO.
Being named after our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, it’s not surprising that Mary Jo, like CAMM’s founder, Fr. Joseph Skelly, CM, is deeply devoted to Mary. “My journey to this new role started well before last year,” she claims thoughtfully. “As a child, my parents rooted my siblings and me in the love of our Blessed Mother and her Son, Jesus, and they routinely brought us to the weekly Novena. We would kneel at Mary’s Altar, and it always brought me such peace. Looking up at her face, it felt as though she were smiling on me alone.”
During this past year, she’s been able to visit our Blessed Mother’s Altar more times than she can begin to count—and, like Fr. Skelly, she gives the work of CAMM to Mary daily. “Each morning when I wake up, I ask our Blessed Mother to show me what she wants me to do today,” she says. “I want her to open my eyes to see clearly the things she wants me to accomplish.”
Doing whatever our Blessed Mother places before her has made for a busy first year. One of Mary Jo’s many projects was merging CAMM’s communications team with the Eastern Province’s communications staff. She managed this union in order to accomplish her biggest goal: continuing Fr. Skelly’s vision for CAMM—to promote our Blessed Mother and her Miraculous Medal, and to support the Vincentians in serving the poor and underserved people of God. Combining the two communications teams has enabled us to spread that devotion to Mary and increase awareness of the wonderful ministries of the Vincentians.
Under the guidance of our Blessed Mother, Mary Jo is also working closely with the Vincentians to commemorate the 170th Anniversary of their arrival in the Philadelphia region. The theme for this year-long remembrance is “Hearts on Fire,” which comes from St. Vincent de Paul’s writings:
“Our vocation is to go, not just to one parish, not just to one diocese, but all over the world; and do what? To set people’s hearts on fire, to do what the Son of God did. He came to set the world on fire in order to inflame it with His love.” ~ St. Vincent de Paul, 30 May 1659
“The theme is fitting because St. Vincent de Paul is internationally known for his tender heart for the poor and the marginalized of society,” says Mary Jo. “What better symbol could there be to depict the selfless caring and dedication of those priests and brothers who follow his example?”
That’s another message that was deeply rooted in Mary Jo and her siblings: loving our neighbor. “My parents taught us that every person, regardless of their origin or status, is a child of God and our brother and sister—and that we had the responsibility to care for them,” she emphatically states. Since her childhood, our Blessed Mother has been preparing Mary Jo for her role at CAMM. So after a long corporate career, Mary Jo has finally come home—home to Mary’s Shrine—to continue the work of Fr. Skelly and the Vincentians.