Our Leadership Team
- Marie A. Blunt, M. Min., Executive Director
- Tony Garascia, MA, MS, LCSW, NCC, Clinical Director
- Rev. Kimberly A. Bloom, Clergy & Congregational Care Director
- Don Zerfas, MA, MS, LCSW, NCC, Clinical Director
Marie A. Blunt, Executive Director
Marie A. Blunt brings to the Samaritan Counseling Center several
years of experience developing and leading a variety of Christian Education and
Pastoral Care ministries. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Education
from the University of Illinois in 1982, she moved to South Bend where she
taught for several years. Marie returned to the classroom as a student and
earned a Master of Ministry degree from Bethel College in 1997.
Since 1993 she has served as a Stephen Leader, training and
coordinating lay people for pastoral care ministry. She is the founder of the
South Bend Area Stephen Ministry Network, which coordinates the training and
implementation of this ministry among 8-10 local churches. She served as
president of the Edison Lakes Sunrise Rotary club from 2008-2009. She is a
graduate of the Chamber of Commerce Leadership program.
In 2000 she became Executive Director of the Samaritan
Counseling Center, leading the growth of the organization from a clinical staff
of two to a clinical staff of five and adding educational as well as clergy
wellness ministries to the agency’s counseling services. She is a member of the
Samaritan Institute’s Leadership Consultation Group 2.
MA, MS, LCSW, NCC, Clinical Director
Tony Garascia received his Masters in Counseling from Indiana University at South Bend in 1986. In addition he received a Masters in Liturgical Studies in 1978 from the Catholic University of America.
Tony has years of experience counseling individuals, couples, families, adolescents and children. His areas of specialty include marriage and relationship issues, family difficulties, depression and anxiety, traumatic stress and bereavement work and sexual identity issues. He works with clients from age seven up. He is the author of the popular marriage preparation programs Before “I Do” and
Catholic Remarriage (Ave Maria Press), of Rekindle the Passion While Raising Your Kids (Sorin Books), and of Getting Married, Living
Together (Ave Maria Press).
He is licensed in the State of Indiana as a Clinical Social Worker and Clinical Addiction Counselor. He is a member of the American Counseling Association and the Indiana Counseling Association. He also is EMDR, Level II Certified.
Clergy & Congregational Care Director
Kim received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Baker University (Baldwin City, Kansas) in 1983. She will receive her Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (United Methodist) in Evanston, Illinois in 2013.
Kim has over 12 years of pastoral experience in the areas of leading worship, congregational care, spiritual formation, discipleship, and hospital chaplaincy. In addition to her role with the Samaritan Center she is also the pastor of South Bend Immanuel United Methodist Church. She has four years of classroom experience teaching biology, physical science, and physics in an alternative high school setting. She has led retreats, developed curriculum and workshops in many areas of spiritual formation/renewal, and provides individual and group spiritual direction.
Kim is in the process for ordination as Elder in the United Methodist Church. She holds a certificate as a Spiritual Director and is a member of Spiritual Directors International. She is a Stephen Minister and Stephen Leader.
Donald Zerfas, Business Manager
Don Zerfas received his Bachelor of Science in
Accounting from Indiana University in 1970. In addition he became a Certified
Public Accountant in 1975.
Don brings over 35 years of accounting and
auditing experience to the Center. He began his career in Chicago in public
accounting followed by his work in auditing with two Fortune 100 companies in
Chicago and South Bend. He became the Business Manager of Christ the King
Lutheran Church in 2000 and is now also the Business Manager at the Samaritan