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Mary worked for the Catholic Church for nearly 40 years in various positions, including the Office of Religious Education, Office of Pastoral Planning and the Chancellor's Office. She served as the Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas from 1998 to 2018. Mary was appointed Chancellor at a time when the church was embroiled in the sex abuse scandal, and the position entailed working with and serving victims of child sexual abuse .
Mary was the first woman in the diocese’s 107-year history to hold this leadership position. She described her appointment at the time as part of a series of reforms that began after the $119.6 million clergy sex-abuse judgment against the diocese. Those reforms included the establishment of a sophisticated safe environment program using numerous preventative measures in parishes and schools for keeping children and vulnerable adults safe.
In 2004, Mary earned her Canon Law License from Catholic University of America.