Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox had a re-awakening of their Catholic faith in the 1980s. While on a trip through the Holy Land, they were directed by a local priest to take a silent walk along the Sea of Galilee. There, Jesus unmistakably spoke to them each.
In September 1986, Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox left their respective careers in hotel management and the travel industry to work full-time for St. Matthew Catholic Church. For the first seven years, their main ministry was door-to-door home visitation; in the first few years, they visited over 10,000 families. They also helped establish other outreach ministries at St. Matthew.
In 1992, the Foxes led a group of pilgrims in the Holy Land. After escorting them to the airport, they returned to Jerusalem to spend two weeks in a hermitage in the Garden of Gethsemane. In those two weeks of prayer, they discerned that God wanted them to develop a Catholic evangelization ministry. With the help of friends and benefactors, Pilgrim Center of Hope was founded in June of 1993.
Tom was ordained to the permanent Diaconate in August 1988. They became Oblates of the Congregation of St. John in 1991.
Tom and Mary Jane’s mission has included travel to parishes in California, Kansas, Louisiana, Mexico, and within Texas to give presentations on their ministry experiences, Parish Missions and on Door-to-Door Home Visitation Outreach. In June 1989 and June 1990, they assisted the pastor of St. Ignatius Parish in Belize City, Belize, in a parish-wide evangelization effort.
Their ministry of pilgrimages has led them to Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Eygpt, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Greece and Turkey. Their speciality (and dearest to their hearts) is the Holy Land, having traveled there more than 54 times since 1986.
Their ministry work has been featured in five nation-wide Catholic periodicals and on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) show Living His Life Abundantly in 1995 on the video I Am the Bread of Life, produced by Stepstone Productions, Inc. In February 2008, they received the Catholic Television of San Antonio (CTSA) Leadership Award. In March 2011, they received Guadalupe Radio Network‘s ’Pescadores de Hombres‘ (Fishers of Men) Award. They were invested into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre in October of 2011. In October 2012, they received the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation’s “Living Stones Award” on behalf of Pilgrim Center of Hope.
“The call we received from the Lord to serve in the field of Catholic evangelization has been a most enlightening, inspirational and challenging vocation!”
Jesus, Scripture, and Virgin Mary