Our board is composed of people from many different walks of life who all share one thing in common: they have a heart for those who have lost a pregnancy, infant, or child in the womb. Please feel free to reach out to any one of our board members with any questions, and remember that you can always use our contact page, connect with us on social media, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deacon Joel Schmidt
Joel is a Deacon of the Diocese of Des Moines, husband, father, and biochemist. He and his wife Lisa occasionally speak on various topics related to marriage and family spirituality. The couple has undertaken to develop the Hope In Loss ministry as part of Joel’s diaconal service, initially based upon their personal experience with miscarriage.
A proud Iowan, Lisa resides in the suburbs of Des Moines where she is an at-home mom who also supports her husband Joel in his diaconal ministries. Lisa enjoys writing about the things that bring her great joy – the Catholic faith, family, fine arts, and good food – at both ThePracticingCatholic.com and CatholicMom.com. She is also the founder of The Well women's gathering.
Lisa can be contacted at email@example.com
Adam is the director of the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Diocese of Des Moines and lives in Des Moines with his wife and children. With the generous support of his wife, Adam works throughout the diocese to provide marriage preparation and enrichment opportunities to the families of southwest Iowa, and to accompany families in all their stages.
Erin is a wife and mother of 7 (Angelica, Jeremy, Eve, Michael, Gabriel, Perfectus, Raphael) living in Des Moines. She has been active in youth and pro-life ministries, as well as speaking and writing on pro-life topics. She and her husband Jeremiah were invited to be members of this ministry due to their intimate experiences with loss. Of their 7 children, Angelica and Jeremy were lost to miscarriage, Gabriel to SIDS at 7 weeks, and Perfectus to an ectopic pregnancy. She and her husband have spoken and written of their experiences, and have found hope and comfort expressed by their family motto which she coined: Our Broken Hearts are Full of Joy.
Jeremiah is a husband and father of 7 (Angelica, Jeremy, Eve, Michael, Gabriel, Perfectus, Raphael), living in Des Moines. He and his wife Erin were invited to be members of this ministry due to their intimate experiences with loss. Of their 7 children, Angelica and Jeremy were lost to miscarriage, Gabriel to SIDS at 7 weeks, and Perfectus to an ectopic pregnancy. He and his wife have spoken and written of their experiences, and find healing in sharing the solace they found in their grief, exemplified by their family motto: Our Broken Hearts are Full of Joy.
Mark is a funeral director and co-owner of Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home & Crematory. A parishioner of Saint Francis of Assisi in Des Moines, he came to the board after working with several families who had lost children, and not having good Catholic resources for the to connect with.
Mark can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy Solawetz is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist with an extensive training in Bowen Family Systems Therapy and Trauma Informed Care. Wendy brings 25 years of experience providing counseling, support, and resources to women and their families facing challenges associated with pregnancy, parenting, marriage and family life. Wendy will walk alongside you and your family as you face grief and loss associated with a difficult diagnosis, pregnancy loss, or infant death. Wendy Solawetz and can be reached at Sampson Family Therapy in downtown Des Moines, and can be contacted at email@example.com
Sue is an Associate Professor Emeritus with the Creighton University College of Nursing. Her professional interests and publications have been in genetics and spiritual care in nursing. She and her husband, Emmet, live in Council Bluffs. Their second baby was stillborn due to a birth defect. They have six other children and 15 grandchildren.
Sue can can be contacted at
Ann has been a nurse for 42 years, the past 31 in obstetrics. Recognizing a deficit in care for families that have experienced the death of their baby through miscarriage, ectopic loss, stillbirth, or newborn death, she has started several programs to address this need, and is the Bereavement and Perinatal Hospice Coordinator at Mercy in Des Moines.
A member of PLIDA (Perinatal Loss and Infant Death Alliance) and AWHONN (Assiociation of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, Ann has been married for 42 years, with 2 children and 4 grandchildren.