Each stage of her adult life has been marked by clear vocations: marriage, corporate marketing, motherhood.
So, after her two children were old enough that Lisa Wentz felt it was appropriate to re-enter the work force, she began discerning her next step. Corporate marketing was still a vital industry, but no longer one to which she felt called.
Instead, Lisa Wentz accepted the position as the new director for the diocesan Charity and Development Appeal. She feels equally at home in both Arizona and Green Bay where the faith-filled woman held a similar position. (Courtesy Office of Mission Advancement)
“I wanted my marketing to have a purpose, to have a soul,” Wentz said, one month into her new role in the diocesan Office of Mission Advancement.
Any marketing she does now will inspire people to pray for the needs of the diocese in terms of charitable outreach and for development funds that sustain vital diocesan offices. All told, her marketing efforts will impact souls served by approximately 70 apostolates. Wentz is the new director of the Charity and Development Appeal, which funds day-to-day efforts to help area Catholics live as disciples.
Wentz described the CDA as “a one-stop charity navigator for Catholics.”
“This is a time when there is a lot of turmoil in our world. The CDA is a way to extend a hand to other people and to bring a little light to someone’s life.” The theme for the 2018 appeal continues the idea of “Love that Gives Hope,” which was used this year.
Although Wentz is among the newer faces at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, her work is essentially a continuation of what she got her toe wet doing in the Diocese of Green Bay, where she worked for two-and-a-half years. Then her husband’s former employer recruited him back to Phoenix.
“That was a very hard transfer,” Wentz said. Her son had just begun college and her daughter was to begin her junior year of high school.
Wentz’s friends reminded her there was a reason for it. So did her faith. She prayed to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, something she does almost daily. She held close the idea of Divine Providence illustrated in the Book of Ether: “Who knows — perhaps it was for a time like this that you became queen?” (Esther 4:14). Wentz was amid a Bible study of the book when she got the call to work in Green Bay.
“Esther was a very strong person. She was very courageous in answering her call to serve,” Wentz explained.
The new CDA director is too. There was that 13-year employment gap with motherhood in the middle. Then a six-month break to settle herself and her family in Arizona before searching for employment. For both diocesan jobs, Wentz began networking with people who she wanted to be like. That came to mean interacting with those who belonged to a diocese.
“I knew in my heart I needed to search within the Church and that the right door would open for me at the right time,” Wentz said.
She later learned that the bishop’s appeal in Green Bay was modeled after the one in Phoenix. It was another sign that God was guiding her life’s journey. Wentz grew up in a faith-filled family in the Methodist and Lutheran churches, but pointed out that her best grade school friend was Catholic and recalled regular visits with nuns who lived two blocks away. As she got older, it just so happened that every boy she dated was Catholic.
She marked her 20th anniversary of becoming Catholic last spring. Wentz was confirmed at St. Andrew the Apostle in Chandler alongside 59 others. The family has since resettled in Scottsdale.
Wentz happened to have visited St. Andrew for the Ascend Conference in October and is eager to visit many more parishes and meet the people there. Phoenix has about 50 fewer parishes than Green Bay, but substantially more people.
“Lisa is a committed Catholic that has a heart for ministry, people and the faith. She brings great depth as a marketing professional and radiates positivity,” said Cande de Leon, executive director of the Office of Mission Advancement.