Vatican II Awards

The Vatican II Awards were established in 1991 to honor men, women and young adults who exemplify the Catholic Church’s vision set forth in the Second Vatican Council. These individuals have been selected by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki to be recognized for their service to the Body of Christ in southeastern Wisconsin. While an awards ceremony is typically held annually in October, this year’s festivities are postponed until such a time as it is safe to gather such a large group.

Service in the Diaconate — Dcn. Terry Maack

In Dcn. Terry Maack’s experience, people — even those seeking advice — usually know the answer to their problems.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be heard. In fact, the people who already know the right course of action sometimes need a friendly ear more than anyone, said Dcn. Maack.

“People always need somebody to talk with. You’d be surprised by how many people come in here who aren’t Catholic, and sit down and want to talk about their marriage,” he said, referring to the parish office at St. Peter Parish in Kenosha, where he has served as administrator since 2010. “We don’t own our problems until we say them. Once we say it, we own it.”

With a background in the auto industry, the cradle Catholic and self-described “CCD brat” never really expected to find himself serving as a permanent deacon. But a news item caught his eye shortly after the Vatican reinstated the permanent diaconate in 1967. “I never got to be an altar server, so I thought, ‘This is really great,’” said Dcn. Maack. The idea tumbled around in his head until he finally applied some years later, only to be deferred.

“I was involved in too many things at the parish,” he said. “The only thing I wasn’t involved in was the Women’s League.” Taking the advice of the vocations director, he pulled back a bit and focused his efforts on certain ministries. On reapplying, he was accepted, and was eventually ordained in 1988.

Growing up in Racine, Dcn. Maack was heavily influenced by the devout faith of his mother Louise. “My mother always made sure the faith was really important. Prayers at nighttime, meal prayers. I was so mad at her one time I had to go to confession twice. The episode of ‘The Lone Ranger’ was coming on TV, and she pulled me out to get on the bus and go all the way to church for confession. By the time I came home, I was so mad I had to go back.”

Dcn. Maack has been married to wife Lee for 55 years, and the couple have two sons, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Dcn. Maack began in the auto industry as a parts manager, working his way up through the ranks before retiring as a service director at Palmen Automotive Group. In 2007, he was recognized with the Graduate of Distinction Award from Horlick High School for his work with youth in the area of automotive apprenticeships. As a deacon, he has done just about everything, including serving on the Deacon Senate for more than a decade. Maack also started a jail ministry, and on many Saturdays for the last 25 years, he can be found ministering to inmates at the Kenosha County Detention Center.

“It’s probably a little cliche, but what I love about my work is just working with people,” said Maack. “Especially the jail ministry — talking to the inmates and just being there. You’ve got to give them a message of hope. This isn’t the end. There’s a new tomorrow. God is there to forgive. All you have to do is ask.”

Dcn. Terry Maack