Germantown's Miraculous Medal Shrine hires first female president, layperson

Mark Abrams
March 17, 2019 - 4:00 am

Mark Abrams/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A Philadelphia native has become the first female president and CEO of the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Germantown. It's a groundbreaking position that she believes, was heaven-sent. 

In a male-dominated arena, Mary Jo Timlin-Hoag emerged as the logical choice to lead the operations of the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal and the communications arm of the Eastern Province of the Vincentian religious order.

Mary Jo Timlin-Hoag is the first female president and C-E-O of the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood.
Mark Abrams/KYW Newsradio

"I walked into this role a year ago as a senior executive director - the first female and the first lay female in the position," she explained.

And, within a year, she was asked to take over the top position at a shrine that has been part of Philadelphia's rich spiritual history for some 104 years.

Timlin-Hoag says she spent some 40 years in the private sector, mostly in health care. Then, the death of her husband in 2016 turned her world upside down.

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It led to a journey that included a visit to Rome and spending time there with her brother, a Vincentian priest.

"I came home from that trip and I said, 'you know I'm going to look for something where I can give back.' I have a lot of skills -- let me see what I can find. And I just happened to find this job, executive director, online," she explained.

Timlin-Hoag says her devotion to the Blessed Mother began with the example instilled in her by her parents, who brought her to the shrine as a child.

As an adult, she took her joys and struggles and sorrows in prayer to the mother of God.

As the new CEO, Timlin-Hoag says the mission of fostering devotion and prayer has expanded along with promoting the work of the Vincentians who have been running it and many missions serving the poor.