Meet the board: Mary Glowaski

Q: What is your name, occupation and how long have you volunteered to serve on the St. Joe Foundation Board?

My name is Mary Devine Glowaski and I have served in the Roman Catholic diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in many capacities as a pastoral counselor. I have been privileged to serve on the board for the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation for a little over six years.

Q: What inspires you about the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and their Foundress Saint Katharina? Are there particular values or works that you find especially important?

Serving on a board and with others, particularly the Poor Handmaids, is both inspiring and challenging. My experience is that the sisters, as did their Foundress Saint Katharina, put flesh to the call to serve especially those least fortunate and most fragile in our communities. The boldness, perseverance, and steadfast devotion to God’s call to serve and to work for justice are part of every breath, every action, and every prayer that guides the ministries of the Poor Handmaids. This call is authentic and focused on the privilege of serving but also recognizing the gifts those we serve bring to us.

Q: Please share a memorable interaction you have had with a grantee and their staff/clients. 

Before his death, my husband Gary worked with the staff and volunteers of the St. Peter’s food pantry. At a recent site visit to the pantry when I introduced myself, a staff member remembered Gary and all that he shared and the ways he served those suffering from food insecurity. I was reminded that the work of serving will never end, and that our lives and the care we share with others—the small pebble we drop in the pond—can continue to make ripples and differences in the lives of those who so desperately need care long after we are gone. The message is simple, in a world that can seem so messy and complicated, the vision of the sisters, their work, the work of the grantees, foundation staff and so many others…serve and trust.

Q: What do you enjoy most about serving on the St. Joe Foundation Board? 

I consider it true grace to serve on a board rooted in the mission of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ to “proclaim by their lives and our works the presence of God in the world.” Again, so simple and yet their work has taken great courage, audacity, and dedication as the sisters served those who were and are so often unseen and unknown. To be invited into conversation, deliberation, and action with Poor Handmaid sisters, the Foundation staff, and remarkable people from our community to seek ways to make a true difference in many lives and to articulate this mission is remarkable and humbling. I have received much more from this opportunity than I have given, and I am extremely grateful.

Q: Tell us about an accomplishment in your professional or private life that you are proud of.

I thank God every day for the gift of serving and for the invitations offered me to walk with others who are struggling, suffering, or seeking deeper understanding of who they are and how deeply they matter in our world. I have been abundantly blessed to witness the hard work and healing of many who have been grievously harmed by our culture, our institutions, and most especially the harm so many suffer in the name of God. I have also been blessed by so many, most especially my husband and children and now grandchildren, friends, co-workers, mentors—all exceptionally gifted and kind individuals who nurtured and challenged me to be more generous and kinder. Rather than accomplishments, I have profound gratitude for the abundant blessings that have afforded me the gift of witnessing and sharing the love that has been so generously shared with me.