KAUKAUNA — In January, Jenni Vande Hey became the new executive director of Elizabeth Ministry International. She succeeded Don Warden, who is now chief operations officer at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion.
“I am very excited to serve and lead this incredible organization of hope, help and healing,” Vande Hey told The Compass. “I am inspired by God’s handiwork, as evidence by the countless number of individuals and families who have received God’s graces and blessings (through Elizabeth Ministry) over the years.”
Elizabeth Ministry co-founder, Jeannie Hannemann, described Vande Hey as “a very faith-filled woman, who had decided to leave her highly successful corporate career to spend more time with her daughter and wanted to find employment in a faith-based organization.”
Vande Hey, mother of 8-year-old Elizabeth, had worked for 17 years at Kimberly-Clark. She is a member of St. John Nepomucene Parish, Little Chute. She said she has spent the past few months learning the history and stories of Elizabeth Ministry, which started in 1991 and now has 700 chapters worldwide.
“As I talk with people, there are so many people that have never heard of Elizabeth Ministry — even within our own Green Bay Diocese,” Vande Hey said. “I want everyone to know that we’re here and we can help you and your family. I don’t want Elizabeth Ministry to be the ‘best kept secret around town’ any longer.”
To that end, Elizabeth Ministry held a Visitation feast day open house May 31 and is planning new events, such as a Father and Son Retreat this fall, modeled after their popular Mother and Daughter Retreats. Vande Hey invites people to visit the ministry’s website, www.ElizabethMinistry.org, or their Kaukauna headquarters and resource and retreat center at 120 W. 8th St., Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.