Christina Diers, M.S. has been in the fitness industry for over 25 years. She started teaching classes at the local YMCA when she was in high school, then she taught classes at various locations throughout her college career.
In 1994, she passed the Exercise Physiologist exam through the American College of Sports Medicine and received a Bachelor of Science in Education with endorsements in Physical Education and English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After teaching high school for a couple of years, she decided to work on her masters and begin personal training. Christina received a Masters of Science in Health Education in 2005 from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
As part of her continuing education, she took STOTT Pilates mat training in 2003. She eventually completed her training through STOTT on the Reformer and was certified in October of 2011. She continued her training on the Cadillac, Stability Chair, and Barrels as well as Injuries and Special Populations training, and passed all examinations required to become a fully certified STOTT Pilates instructor.
In her career, she has taught a variety of fitness classes including Equipment Pilates, Mat Pilates, Aerial Silks, Core and Strength classes, Preschool fitness, Older Adult Fitness, Pre-Natal Fitness, and more. She wrote a fitness column for the Fremont Tribune and has had many speaking engagements. She enjoys sharing her passion for Pilates and healthy living with her clients and she hopes to be a source of information and inspiration to others.
Christina joined the Catholic church as an adult before the birth of her first child. She had always had a strong Christian faith, but felt joining the Catholic church was important for her marriage and family. A few years ago, she prayed the Rosary every day during Lent. She enjoyed it so much that she continued to pray it every day, and has ever since. Christina loves getting up early and praying for her family and friends. So, when a friend of hers introduced her to SoulCore, Christina knew she needed to share it with everyone she knew. SoulCore incorporates two things that she is very passionate about – physical fitness and faith. Christina felt called to share SoulCore with her community because it has strengthened her body as well as her relationship with God. It is a beautiful way to combine physical fitness with spiritual fitness. She loves how it has deepened her relationship with Christ and wants to help others do the same.
A FEW OF CHRISTINA’S FAVORITE SCRIPTURE VERSES:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 , Mark 12:30, 1 Corinthians 13:6-7, 1 Corinthians 13:13, Philippians 4:13, Galatians 5:22-23
Mary Anne lives in West Des Moines with her husband Mark. Married for 36 years, they are members of Sacred Heart Parish. They grew up in Ralston, NE, attending Saint Gerald School. They have no children of their own, yet there are many children and young adults in their lives, including 18 nieces & nephews, plus 19 “greats.” Mary Anne is Godmother to nephews Zacary (en route to Heaven 6-11-20) and Jason. She taught first graders for over thirty years in Catholic Schools in Des Moines and Omaha.
An experience that still influences her faith journey today was living across the street from Saint Gerald, her parish and school. The church and school communities were her home and neighbor, integrated in all parts of her life.
Her mother’s ministry of typing the parish bulletin was also influential. This link kept them connected to opportunities at church, school, the Ralston community and the Archdiocese of Omaha. To this day, Mary Anne continues to read and collect church bulletins from a variety of parishes. Online bulletins keep her connected to family and relatives.
Bulletin announcements lead to meaningful, spiritual opportunities that enriched her faith formation. St. Ambrose Cathedral needed volunteers to work with engaged couples. She and Mark became a Marriage Sponsor Couple, working with couples from Saint Ambrose and Sacred Heart. Fourteen years in this ministry introduced them to people from many walks of life. Meeting with couples and having conversations related to the FOCCUS Survey was an experience that strengthened their own marriage.
In April 2018, in another parish bulletin, Mary Anne first learned about SoulCore. She attended mass at Saint Patrick’s, Elkhorn, NE, where classes were being offered. At that time, no classes were available in her diocese, or in Iowa. She ordered the digital downloads, praying the rosary at home. SoulCore’s Online Studio Classes offered additional opportunities. Her husband Mark joined in, praying alongside her. This experience improved their spiritual and physical fitness, plus it was strengthening their marriage and prayer life.
Rereading her prayer journals offered insights, evidence, and gratitude for God’s constant presence in her life. She noticed her relationship with Jesus through Mary was becoming a more personal friendship. These entries demonstrated SoulCore’s influence in reenergizing and strengthening her faith journey. Here, her growing desire to share SoulCore with others was documented.
Mary Anne and Mark applied for the retreat. To their surprise, the event would be held in Des Moines, in their home parish!
In August 2019, prior to the retreat, Mary Anne and Mark participated in their first live SoulCore session at Saint Patrick’s in Elkhorn, NE. Praying the rosary at sunrise, near the parish greenhouse, was the moment Mary Anne knew SoulCore was going to be instrumental in her retirement. Praying together in community was such a peaceful, prayerful, and profound experience. It was equally uplifting, energizing, and inspiring. SoulCore is now part of her daily prayer and exercise routine.
The SoulCore experience has provided abundant blessings in her life while nourishing her soul, strengthening her body, and offering an opportunity to gather in prayer. SoulCore has strengthened her Marian devotion. The completion of each SoulCore session provides a spiritual focus to guide her days; It’s an invitation to begin again to imitate Jesus and Mary by implementing the virtues of the mysteries of the rosary.
Mary Anne and Mark continue to pray the Rosary with SoulCore’s Online Studio Library; they attend classes of other leaders in the Diocese of Des Moines; and she and Mark became members of Saint Patrick’s in Elkhorn, where she first discovered SoulCore and met leader Christina. She loves having two “home” parishes that support this Marian apostolate.
She has found comfort in developing a personal relationship with Our Blessed Mother, and is enjoying rediscovering her own mother’s deep devotion to Mary and love of the rosary. Understanding the significance and stories behind her mother’s sacramentals and devotional books gives new insights to just how important her daily prayer practices were. Having her mother’s statues, miraculous medals, scapulars, Novena beads and prayer books available is a gift she treasures.
SoulCore has inspired her and Mark to participate in praying the weekly rosary with a group of parishioners at Sacred Heart. She accepted an invitation to be an RCIA Prayer Partner and she began attending Adoration. She renewed her Marian Consecration on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima with SoulCore members at Saint Pat’s.
SoulCore has ignited her desire to share this Marian apostolate in her parish community. She feels called to be involved in the Divine Renovation at Sacred Heart, becoming an Active Apostle and sharing SoulCore in her diocese.
Mary Anne is looking forward to helping out at Sacred Heart – West Des Moines or at Saint Patrick’s – Elkhorn. She’ll be honored to continue supporting the other leaders in their ministries, both in the Diocese of Des Moines and in the Archdiocese of Omaha.
Outside of SoulCore, she enjoys participating in 10K Volkswalks, attending farmers’ markets, “neighboring” while walking, attending “Straight No Chaser” concerts, and taking road trips with Mark to visit family and relatives across the country. In all these activities, God’s presence is evident in the people, places, and events she encounters.
A FEW OF MARY ANNE’S FAVORITE SCRIPTURE VERSES:
Jeremiah 29:11-14, Phiippians 4:4-8, Matthew 5:13-16
Mary Anne and Mark were married in 1983 in Ralston, Nebraska and are currently members of Sacred Heart Parish in West Des Moines, Iowa and St. Patrick’s Parish in Elkhorn, Nebraska. They are both life-long Catholics and attended the same catholic elementary school and grew up in the same parish.
Mark has been involved with parish activities his entire life starting early following the example of his parents as they were also active in the church.
Mark activities included:
Altar server and trainer of altar servers
Cleaning and maintaining parish grounds and buildings
Assisting in counting weekend tithing collections
Member of parish capital campaign drives
Building committee member for Dowling Catholic High School
Mary Anne and Mark were a sponsors for couple’s marriage preparation for Sacred Heart Parish and St. Ambrose Parish in Des Moines
Mary Anne and Mark grew up in the Omaha, Nebraska area and while visiting Omaha one weekend, Mary Anne saw an announcement about SoulCore in a bulletin at St. Patrick’s Church Elkhorn, Nebraska. Mary Anne was very interested in the concept of prayer with exercise. It did not take her long to order the DVDs. Soon after receiving the DVDs, we participated in the sessions. We then joined the on-line membership and continued to pray together at home with the additional videos. Eventually, we decided to participate in a live session at St. Patrick’s church. The session was at 6:30 am to experience prayer at sunrise in the church’s outdoor gardens. What a beautiful way to have our first live SoulCore session.
Mary Anne decided to pursue becoming a leader almost right away. It took Mark a little longer before realizing he also was being called. They were fortunate to have their leadership training at their own parish in West Des Moines. Mark looks forward to leading and praying the SoulCore Rosary with his parish community.
SOME OF MARK’S FAVORITE SCRIPTURE VERSES:
Corinthians 4:18, James 1:2-4, Isaiah 40:31