Therese Maes

CANFP pulled off a worthy surprise in the awarding of the Calegari Award in 1995, keeping the recipient a secret even from the CANFP President! For the recipient was, in fact, the much deserving President of CANFP, Terry Maes with her husband Jose.

Terry and Jose Maes epitomize the dedication, work, and faithfulness to NFP which was championed by Fr. Calegari. They are true pioneers in the field of NFP in California.

Terry and Jose first began teaching NFP in 1975 at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose. When the Center for Life opened at O’Connor, they were then invited to provide NFP services there. Their training and exposure to NFP was broad based, having been educated in the scientific and philosophical basis of NFP from such diverse and incredible sources as the Drs. Billings, Dr. Howard Herning, Dr. George Maloof, and Fr. Calegari, and having supplemented their formation at every opportunity, attending workshops in Collegeville, Los Angeles, and Portland. This broad experience formed the early foundation for their program, and continued to inspire their perspective throughout their professional involvement in NFP.

In 1978 Terry was a student in the first Practitioner class offered by Dr. Tom Hilgers in the Creighton Model, later to become the FertilityCare System. In the subsequent year, she was a participant in the first Educator class, expanding her services to include not only training couples to use NFP, but now also training teachers of the method as well. She in fact was the mentor and educator for many of the early generation of Creighton Model teachers in California.

In her position as Family Life Director for the Diocese of San Jose, she successfully integrated NFP into marriage preparation, and during her tenure there it was expected and required that anyone preparing for marriage in the Diocese of San Jose would be provided an introduction to Natural Family Planning during their formation process, a policy that continues today for that region.

Therese MaesWhile serving as Family Life Director of the Diocese of San Jose, Terry pursued a dream of building a statewide coalition of NFP users, providers, clergy, physicians, and advocates to provide mutual support, and unite efforts to advocate for NFP throughout the state. CANFP was born! Terry brought together the pioneers of NFP in California and together that founding board built, under Terry’s guidance, the organization that held its first statewide conference in 1993. She served as the first president of CANFP, and has remained on the Advisory Board since retiring from the Executive Board. Her vision for an organization that unites those using, providing, and advocating for the variety of legitimate models of NFP throughout the state has remained the character of CANFP, and the strong foundation she formed has sustained it over two decades of change and growth.

Maes Family

Maes family honoring their parents, Terry and Jose Maes, recipients of the 1995 Calegari Award

Jose and Terry have been a team in their forty plus years of joint service to NFP, from the early days pioneering new programs, to the role of advisers to the next generation of advocates. Terry and Jose were joined by their four children at the presentation of the award, Marina, Lynne, Elise, and Matt—a visible sign why “family” is our  middle name!