Mary Kaufmann is certified in spirituality and spiritual direction through Creighton University. She holds a Masters in Theology from Loras College and is a board certified Catholic Chaplain through the National Association of Catholic Chaplains credential through the United States  Council of Catholic Bishops. She offers healing retreats and faith based conferences to churches, dioceses, individuals and groups of professionals.  She has published numerous articles,for laity and ordained, in leading pastoral journals, including a book on spiritual motherhood of priests.

She lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with her husband, John, who is a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Dubuque. They are the parents of six young adults.

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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