Message from our Founders


Thank you for visiting the Elizabeth Ministry International website!   Know that we welcome you into the ever-widening circle of people committed to offering hope, help, and healing on the intimate issues of life, loss, and love. 

We began this ministry in 1991 to address the needs of families facing the joys, challenges, and sorrows of the childbearing years.  Since then we have offered direct service to individuals, couples, and families, as well as registering over 700 Elizabeth Ministry Chapters in churches and organizations on six continents!  If you are visiting this website to learn about Elizabeth Ministry, we hope you will discover ways to enrich your spirit, reach out to others, and build community. 

Over the years, under the direction of Bishop David Ricken, we expanded our mission to include the areas of sexuality and relationships that are so closely connected to childbearing.  Some parish chapters have chosen to include these unique services, programs, and opportunities.  Others choose to refer people to Elizabeth Ministry International Headquarters for assistance in these areas.   We invite you to explore all that is available, as we seek to encourage, educate, and equip individuals, families, and faith communities with the tools needed to address the tender times in life.  


As you explore our website, you will find that we have something to offer everyone, as all our lives are touched by these aspects of life.  Elizabeth Ministry is Roman Catholic in origin and outlook, and ecumenical in outreach, so we welcome people of all faith traditions.

If you are already an active member of Elizabeth Ministry, thank you for all that you do to affirm, support, encourage, and assist women, men and their families.  If you came to us for help, know that we will do everything possible to assist you.  

As we journey together, Elizabeth Ministry offers friendship, mentoring, books, gifts, tools, educational and inspirational resources to remind us of our deep inner connections and true reverence for life.  Whether you are seeking a quiet place to pray, a special gift, someone to visit with or want to engage in one or our programs, Elizabeth Ministry International and its staff can help you.  We look forward to connecting more with you soon!


Jeannie and Bruce

Jeannie Hannemann, M.A.  and Bruce Hannemann, M.A.

Founders of Elizabeth Ministry International

Rev. Kurt Gessner, OFM Cap, was a Co-Founder of Elizabeth Ministry.  He was a gifted preacher, passionate educator, and faithful servant of God. He passed away in 2000, but his wisdom and spirituality live on as Elizabeth Ministry carries on his favorite quote: 

"Be what you see, the Body of Christ! 

Receive what you are, the Body of Christ!"

St. Augustine