Meet the Missionaries

Summer 2022 Totus Tuus Missionaries

Learn about the men and women who are serving as Totus Tuus Missionaries throughout our diocese. 

 

Joseph Kaminski2Joseph Kaminski

Hometown: Floyd, NY

I am a rising senior at Ave Maria University, in Florida, studying classics & early Christian literature, and minoring in philosophy.  I come from a Catholic family and was raised with a firm understanding of the Faith.  I am a parishioner at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Verona and have been an altar server for many years.  While at university, I have been an altar server and a server trainer at the local parish.

I am teaching Totus Tuus because I see it as a good way to serve our Lord, Jesus Christ, over the summer, while helping children to have fun and grow in their relationship with Him.  Not only will teaching Totus Tuus bring spiritual rewards, but it will be conducive to my future career plans of teaching.

My favorite saint is Saint Rita of Cascia because she has always been looking out for me, and has helped me out of trouble many times.  However, I feel that she sought me, and not I her; hence, I say that she has adopted me.  Honestly, I did not have a choice in selecting her as my favorite saint; she made me choose her.

One fun fact about me is that I greatly enjoy being outside, especially going on hikes.


 

Rory Neary2Rory Neary

Hometown: Michigan City, IN

Hi! My name is Rory Neary, and I will be a senior this fall at the University of Mary in, North Dakota. I am excited to be a part of Totus Tuus this summer and have the opportunity to spread the Gospel. I am studying elementary education and theology, which go hand in hand with Totus Tuus! 

I go through seasons of saints, but currently my favorite saint “group” is the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph) with a runner-up of Servant of God Chiara Corbella Petrillo. All of them are beautiful models of how to live a life totally offered in service to God. 

A fun fact about me is that I enjoy long-distance running, especially in unique places like in the Grand Canyon, by the Washington Monument, and along the shores of Lake Michigan. 


  

Ben Coniker2Ben Coniker

Hometown: Cary, NC

Hey, y'all! My name is Ben Coniker and I'm from Cary, North Carolina. I am thrilled to serve as a Totus Tuus missionary this summer. I am currently a junior finance major at Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Ohio. I am a part of a men's group, also known as a household, called Brothers of the Eternal Song. 

Growing up I had few youth group opportunities; which is why I am teaching Totus Tuus; to help give young people the experiences and community in Christ that I longed for. I want to help young people grow in communion with Christ and mature in their spirituality.

The saint I am most inspired by is Saint Paul. He is a stand-out representation of spiritual transformation and how God can use any person, regardless of their shortcomings, to lead others to Christ.

One fun fact about me is that I absolutely love all sports and games! From team and individual sports to card and board games. I have played 6 different organized sports in middle school and high school, and I am very active at Franciscan University. My two favorite sports to play are basketball and volleyball. My 7-year-old little brother and I play sports and board games all the time!


 

Megan Jackson1Megan Jackson

Hometown: Colwich, KS

Hi, y’all! My name is Megan Jackson and I am thrilled to be teaching Totus Tuus this summer in Syracuse. I am currently a freshman at Wichita State University, in Kansas studying accounting. Being one of seven kids, I've always loved children of all ages. I am excited to be a vessel for the Holy Spirit by giving the gift of time this summer for Totus Tuus.

My favorite saint is St. Philomena because of her strong resistance to the pressures of the culture she lived in.

In my free time, I play instruments, listen to music, or hang out with family or friends. 

A fun fact about me is that I can harmonize with alarm bells, timers, blenders or anything that emits a pitch long enough for me to hear it.


 

Peter Gasparini2Peter Gasparini
Senior Missionary

Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC

Hello, my name is Peter and I am stoked to serve Totus Tuus again this summer! I just graduated with my bachelor’s degree in theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Ohio, and am currently working on my master’s in Catholic studies there as well. 

I want to give myself to Christ in this ministry because it serves the Church so well and it will help me be a better theology teacher one day. 

My favorite saint is St. Benedict because I really resonate with his Rule and the Benedictine spirituality. 

A fun fact about me is that I can write my own sacred icons. 


  

Angela Zenchak2Angela Zenchak

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Hi! My name is Angela and I'm from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I am a senior studying theology and psychology at Saint Vincent College, a Benedictine college, in Latrobe, PA (Mister Rogers' hometown!). I work for the college Campus Ministry, both in the office and in the chapel as a sacristan (living out ora et labora!). I also work for the college dining services and at Panera on breaks. 

I'm thrilled to be serving as a Totus Tuus missionary! I've been attending and leading retreats since high school, and I've always dreamed of being a missionary. It's a privilege to share your faith with others, especially children who have such a beautiful and open-minded perception of God, as well as being surrounded by young adults who are on fire for Our Lord.

My favorite saint is Saint Maximilian Kolbe. He lived for others, serving as Christ's presence in the world, and I can't think of a better emulation of Jesus than laying down your life for another as he did. I also think it's so beautiful how he comforted the men dying with him in the hunger cellar, saying the rosary and singing psalms and hymns. I believe that God comes through those around us, and Maximilian Kolbe brought God into one of the darkest nights a human could experience through his love and faith and concern for others.

Something fun about me is that I've loved the theater ever since my mom and I saw Newsies during my freshman year of high school. I've been in high school and college plays (my proudest role was Jo in Little Women!) and love listening to musical soundtracks, like Newsies, Mamma Mia, Les Mis, Hairspray, and In the Heights, to name a few! 


 

Douglas Villanella2Douglas Villanella

Hometown: Binghamton, NY

I am a seminarian for the Diocese of Syracuse. I have just completed college seminary at St. John’s University, in New York, where I studied philosophy. 

I’m looking forward to teaching with the Totus Tuus program to evangelize and teach the catechism to the youth in our diocese. I’m also looking forward to seeing the other parts of the diocese that I will hopefully be serving as a priest. 

My favorite saint is St. Therese of Lisieux, a Carmelite nun, because of the hardship she went through with her health, the dark night of the soul, and her incredible humility. Also, in her autobiography, she talks about how one of their charisms is to pray for the preservation of priests, which I hope to be one day.

In my time off I love to be outdoors hiking, camping, fishing, basically anything outside.


 

Haley Augustyniak2Haley Augustyniak

Hometown: Toledo, OH

Hey, y'all! My name is Haley Augustyniak and I am currently a senior at Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Ohio, studying theology and catechetics. This is my first summer serving as a Totus Tuus missionary, and I hope it helps me to hone my gifts as both a missionary and teacher. 

My favorite saint is St. Therese of Lisieux because she helped make the idea of being a saint a goal that is attainable. Also, she constantly makes herself known to me in prayer. 

A fun fact about me is that I love up-cycling clothes from my many thrift shop visits! 

 



Marty Gavin2Marty Gavin

Hometown: Columbus, OH

Hey all! My name is Marty Gavin and I can't wait to serve as a Totus Tuus missionary again this summer. I am a rising junior at Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Ohio studying business management. I decided to serve again for Totus Tuus this summer because of how much I love the ministry. I had an incredible experience last summer teaching people about the faith, and by doing so, I grew in my faith.

My patron saint is Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. I try to emulate his joy and authentic Catholic manhood in everything I do. He was a holy devout man who knew how to have fun while bringing friends and strangers closer to God! He loved to ski, hike, and encounter God through those activities. 

One fun fact about me is that I love all sports, especially basketball. I can't wait for this summer! 


 

Brooke Stephens2Brooke Stephens

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Hi, y’all! My name is Brooke, I am 23 years old. One of my goals is to help others know how precious they are to the Heavenly Father. This is why I am teaching Totus Tuus. I just finished serving with NET Ministries and Totus Tuus seemed like a great opportunity to continue living a missionary life and helping others. I enjoy working with young people and plan on pursuing a career in youth counseling. 

A little more about me, I am the oldest child of a big Byzantine Catholic family. My patron saint is Saint Philomena among many others. I chose her because of her amazing story and how she answered my prayers. 

A fun fact about me is that I was a ballet dancer with a professional dance company. Also, one of my favorite phrases is, “bless up!” 


 

Jacob Cottet3Jacob Cottet

Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Hello everyone! My name is Jacob and I am currently a freshman at Le Moyne College, in New York, where I am studying physics and minoring in philosophy. This will be my first year as a Totus Tuus Missionary, and I am excited! I decided to apply for Totus Tuus this summer because it brings me such joy to converse with others about Christ. Above all else, I love interacting with the Body of Christ, His Church! I attended Totus Tuus these past few years at my local parish and was always amazed at the piety and dedication of the missionaries. I hope to be a similar example for those I teach this summer.

Picking a favorite saint is tough, but I would have to say, Saint Lawrence, who is also my confirmation saint. I admire his dedication to those he served, those who were poor spiritually and materially. Even in the face of harsh admonition from Roman authorities, his faith never faltered. I hope to be a servant of Christ as he was!


 

Hannah Hall2Hannah Hall 

Hometown: Manlius, NY

Hello! My name is Hannah Hall and I am excited to be back for a second year with Totus Tuus this summer. I am from Syracuse, NY, and I am a junior at the Catholic University of America, in Washington D.C. I am majoring in media and theology, and I have a certificate in pastoral ministry. 

Totus Tuus is a wonderful program that I am blessed to take part in. It is a great opportunity to serve, lead, and grow in my faith with all those around me, and, of course, I am looking forward to another activity-filled summer with all the youth!

My favorite saint would have to be Pope Saint John Paul II. His love for the youth and ability to share the truth of our faith with everyone is awe-inspiring, and I cannot help but admire him for the person he was and the effect he had on the whole world.

One fun fact about me is that I love to travel. I have been studying abroad this year in Italy and traveling all over the world. Totus Tuus will be one of the first things I do once I get back to the States; I am looking forward to seeing you all!


 

Gavin Cook2Gavin Cook

Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Hello! My name is Gavin Cook, I am a sophomore at Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Ohio, majoring in theology. This is my second year teaching Totus Tuus. I am on the Totus Tuus team this summer because I love seeing the youth encounter the truth and find their identity through it. 

My favorite saint is Saint Michael the Archangel because he is the patron saint of first responders and I want to become a first responder one day. 

I love participating in sports and any physical activity!


 

 

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