The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw is saying farewell to Mary Beth Curtiss, who is retiring after serving for more than 11 years as the administrative liaison to the Bishop. She is known for her hospitality and welcome at the central offices, Masses and special events. She has served as a resource to priests, parish and community leaders, as well as a gifted staff manager and advisor across numerous ministry areas inside the chancery.
“Mary Beth has been an invaluable gift for the Diocese of Saginaw these past years,” said Bishop Robert Gruss. “Her ministry has made an impact that will last for many years to come. I can't thank her enough for her assistance to me this past year as I transitioned into this diocese. She will be missed in many, many ways. But I wish her and Tim the very best in their retirement. Blessings to them both!”
Mary Beth and her husband Tim are retiring to Arizona where three of their four daughters currently reside.
In a letter to colleagues, Mary Beth shared: “For the past 11 years I have witnessed your desire and commitment to serve as missionary disciples through your words and deeds. She added, “... your knowledge and faith and servant hearts are truly gifts to the priests and people of the Church of Saginaw.”
Mary Beth was a member of the board of directors for Little Books, a trusted adviser for the Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan, and a gifted communicator. Her past professional experience included serving as the global brand identity manager for the Dow Chemical Company and she brought this expertise to communications.
“Mary Beth lives the Gospel with joy, enthusiasm and a quiet strength,” said Erin Carlson, director of communications for the Diocese of Saginaw. “ She is a humble servant leader who has inspired me and so many others by the example of her life. There are no words to adequately describe how much we will miss her.”
Mary Beth also expressed gratitude to the priests of the Diocese of Saginaw saying, “I am honored to have been able to serve our holy hero priests, who everyday give all of themselves, and then give even more, to care for our people with the love of Jesus.”
“Mary Beth is someone who is always willing to help,” said Father Peter Gaspeny, pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Shields. “She has a way of helping you and then thanking you as though you did a favor for her. She has a generous heart and a classy style, and she will be missed.”
Although Mary Beth looks forward to the next chapter in her life, she also shared that, “The one pause I have in my decision to retire is that I will no longer be here to assist Bishop Gruss in realizing his amazing vision for the diocese. The “new advent, the new springtime” he so prophetically spoke to during his installation homily last year is already in our midst. I believe that Bishop Gruss will lead us, individually and collectively, to be transformed in Christ. His inspiration, his homilies and writings, and his example of placing Jesus at the center of his life will forever live in me.”
In the coming weeks, the Diocese of Saginaw will be posting a job description and begin a formal search for Mary Beth’s replacement.
So impactful has her time and leadership been, the Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan announced it has created the Mary Beth Curtiss Endowment for the Bishop's Mission. This fund will be used to care for the faithful entrusted to the Bishop.
"The endowment will ensure that Mary Beth’s love for the Diocese of Saginaw and its many ministries will continue in perpetuity,” said Kristin Smith, executive director of the foundation. For more information visit www.ccfmm.org.
Our prayers and best wishes are with you, Mary Beth, as we continue to live out our diocesan mission, which you helped us to put to words: Trusting in the Holy Spirit and nourished by the Eucharist, we, the faithful of the Diocese of Saginaw, are companions on the journey to share the love of Jesus Christ.