Board of Directors of Incarnate Institute/Word of the Vine Online Ministries:

Bishop Robert Gruss, Bishop of Rapid City, SD

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 C. Beckmann, Director of Evangelization & Catechesis, Archdiocese of Omaha

Dr.Mary Pedersen, D.Min., Director of Adult Faith, Archdiocese of Dubuque

Mr. and Mrs. Dennis and Kim, Ternes, Permanent Deacon, St. Joseph, Marion, IA Archdiocese of Dubuque

Mrs. Lorrie Erusha, Director of Erusha & Company, Cedar Rapids, IA

Mary Kaufmann leads a team of presenters that teach internationally on vocations, priesthood, the role of the laity and on topics of spiritual growth.  She has taught at the parish and diocesan levels with Lay Formation, Vocations, Stewardship and Family Life.  She has published numerous articles,for laity and ordained, in leading pastoral journals, including a new book on spiritual motherhood of priests.

She holds a post-graduate certificate in Spiritual Direction and Retreats from Creighton University, a Masters in Theology from Loras College and a Masters in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota.

She attends classes with her husband John, who is in formation for the Permanent Diaconate for the Archdiocese of Dubuque. They live in Cedar Rapids, IA with their children.

Brenda Schmitt, OFS 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 Chatechisis 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.


  1. Thank-you for the note about Conchita, I surely hope there are more to come, she has great things to say to all of us… and as mothers or grandmothers her message hits home. As a lay person way before the second Vatican Council… she was active in all stages of life. We have a lot to learn from this great lady, and she has a lot to say to all man and women of this time. I have shared it to many of my friends and know that they will do the same. Thank-you again. Maria R. Vega. Covenant of Love, Works of the Cross.

    • Conchita is such a down to earth, yet profound witness of holiness. This is what the US bishops are encouraging, a culture of witness, to inspire our faith.

  2. […] Word of the Vine- This is another recent discovery for me.  I am enjoying it. […]

  3. http://becomingacatholic.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/liebster-award-2013/

  4. Dear WORD of the vine,
    I would like to a request a copy of the pray for deacons wives. A size that could be framed. Thank you.

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