Mary Shovlain, Class of 1988
Mary Shovlain (Distinguished Alumna 2018, Class of 1988)
The 2018 Distinguished Alumnus honoree is 1988 Maclay graduate Mary Shovlain. Mary was a member of the volleyball team that made it to the state tournament and served as a member of Anchor Club as well. After graduating from Maclay, she attended the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, where she received a B.S. in education. A few years later, Mary received a Master’s degree in theology and graduated with honors from Steubenville. In 1999, she received the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, also known as the Angelicum, in Rome, Italy. She finished her education at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross where she received a licentiate degree in theology and graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Perhaps, however, it is Mary’s accomplishments outside of her educational achievements that are most impressive. She served as an on-stage English presenter in front of over 2 million young people during World Youth Day 2000 with Pope John Paul II. Mary also did extensive work with Vatican Radio, providing live coverage of the Pope’s international trips and Vatican events. Through doing this, she was able to interview newsmakers from around the world and Vatican officials on a daily basis.
After working for Vatican Radio in Rome, Mary returned to the United States for a year to work with the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the world’s largest religious media organization. As part of this company, Mary produced broadcasts for multiple programs and coverage of special live events, like the 2003 March for Life in Washington, DC.
Mary returned to Rome in 2003 to create television and radio programs from the Eternal City. Besides her own productions, she also collaborated on projects that have aired on the History Channel, National Geographic, and PBS. She also hosted her own program, The Vatican Report with Mary Shovlain, on SIRIUS XM’s The Catholic Channel. This weekly radio program focused on the activities of Pope Francis and explored Vatican news headlines with experts and Vatican officials. Beginning in 2015, she served as a correspondent and producer for EWTN News Nightly. She produced and hosted the network’s live special coverage of several notable events: the Fatima Centennial (May 2017), the Canonization of St. Teresa of Calcutta (September 2016), and three weeks of live daily coverage of the Bishops’ headline-making Synod on the Family (October 2015). With this extensive background in Communications, Mary has recently taken a new position as the Public Diplomacy Specialist at the United States Embassy to the Holy See. Here, she works with the current American ambassador, Callista Gingrich. For this job, she develops and implements communication strategies and works as a liaison with members of the press and opinion makers in Rome regarding the policies of the American government.
Mary Shovlain has accomplished impressive feats in her work during her lifetime. From producing broadcasts in Alabama to working with popes in Vatican City, Mary continues to be an amazing representative of the Maclay community all over the world.