Ms. Mary Gannon Kaufmann, BCC, M.A., M.S. is Board Certified as a Catholic Chaplain through the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. She works with Palliative Care and Bereavement as a Hospital Chaplain at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
As Director of Incarnate Institute and co-founder of Word of the Vine Online, she hopes to provide resources to individuals, parishes and pastoral staffs at hospitals to assist the griever. In support of this aim, she is completing a Certificate in Death and Grief Studies with Dr. Allan Wolfelt, Ph.D. through the Center for Loss and Life Transitions in Fort Collins, CO.
She also holds a post-graduate certificate in Spiritual Direction and Retreats from Creighton University in Omaha, NE, a Masters in Theology from Loras College in Dubuque, IA and a Masters in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. She lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with her husband, Deacon John Kaufmann, a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Dubuque and near their six young adult children. Prior to directing Incarnate Institute, Mary taught nationally on charisms or spiritual gifts with the Catherine of Siena Institute in Colorado Springs, CO.
Brenda Schmitt OFS, B.A., M.S., is a co-founder of Word of the Vine; providing online retreats and resources for the Incarnate Institute. She has numerous years in parish ministry including Director of Religious Education, Trained Level 1 and 2 teachers of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and Adult Formation Leader. She is a certified financial counselor and holds a Masters in Family and Consumer Science from Iowa State University. She teaches in group or online settings; works in communities with high poverty and manages free tax preparation sights for the low-income wage earners. She and her husband live in Rudd, Iowa and are the parents of three young adults.
Board of Directors
Bishop Robert Gruss, Bishop of Rapid City, SD
Father Christopher Podhajsky, Pastor of Immaculate Conception, Cedar Rapids, IA
Father George Karnik, Co-founder of Christian Experience Weekends, Archdiocese of Dubuque
Father Domenico Di Raimondo,M.Sp.S, Superior of USA Province of Missionaries of the Holy Spirit
Mr. William Beckmann, Director of Evangelization & Catechesis, Archdiocese of Omaha
Dr.Mary Pedersen, D.Min., Director of Adult Faith, Archdiocese of Dubuque
Deacon Dennis and Kim, Ternes, Permanent Deacon, St. Joseph, Marion, IA
Mrs. Lorrie Erusha, Director of Erusha & Company, Cedar Rapids, IA.
The purpose of Incarnate Institute is to promote healing in the lives of others and assist them in growing spiritually. Our hope is to inspire healthy grieving when individuals experience loss or life transition through change and death. We develop and present online resources, live conferences, retreats, missions, and talks that are consistent with Catholic teaching but also touching to inter-faith audiences.