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, Philippians 4:4-8, Matthew 5:13-16