Meet the Missionaries

Summer 2021 Totus Tuus Missionaries

Learn about the men and women who will be working as Totus Tuus Missionaries this summer throughout our diocese. 

 

Peter Gasparini squarePeter Gasparini

Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC 

Hey, brothers and sisters in Christ! My name is Peter and I am stoked to serve as a Totus Tuus Missionary for the first time this summer! I am currently a junior studying theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. I want to give myself to Christ and His Church in this ministry and to see if He wants me to become a theology teacher one day.

I am a big St. Joseph guy, as he was so close to Our Lord and is a great model of masculinity.

A fun fact about me is that I like indie rock music.

 


 

 

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McKenzie Gamache

Hometown: Johnson City, NY

Hello! My name is McKenzie Gamache, and I am so excited to spend my first summer as a Totus Tuus Missionary in the Diocese of Syracuse. I am a junior at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio double majoring in history and secondary education with a minor in theology. I am a collegiate athlete, I sing in our music ministry, and I just joined the Daughters of Zion Household (similar to a sorority, but a sisterhood founded in Christ). I also love to play sand volleyball or Spikeball with my friends late into the night when I'm not studying.

Our Catholic faith is the most beautiful thing, so I am blessed that I get to help others grow in their knowledge, love, and appreciation of the gift it is!

My patron saint is Pope Saint John Paul II, but I also have a growing devotion to St. Joseph. I picked St. JPII because his life was an amazing witness of what it means to live out an evangelistic faith no matter what circumstances surround you. As an aspiring middle/high school teacher, he is the patron saint of youth and teens, so I will turn to his intercession to inspire and guide both my students and myself. God bless you all!


 

Gavin Cook squareGavin Cook

Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Hi everyone! My name is Gavin Cook and this is my first year as a Totus Tuus Missionary. I am from Syracuse, New York and I am currently a freshman at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. I attended Totus Tuus the last two years of high school and had such an amazing experience with the missionaries and discovering the true teachings of the Catholic Church. I learned a lot through the Totus Tuus program and part of my conversion was impacted by the community and leadership I was introduced to. I am so excited to have the opportunity to be the influence that someone needs in their life as I needed in mine.

My favorite saint is St. Denis, he was known for testifying and converting pagans to Christianity. His walk with Christ which led to his martyrdom is so influential and truly pushes me to spread the word of God.

One fun fact about me is that I am very competitive and love sports. I play on the lacrosse team at Franciscan University and enjoy doing almost anything active!


 

Abby Dresher squareAbby Dresher

Hometown: Wichita, KS

Hey everyone, my name is Abby Dresher. Totus Tuus has had a huge influence on my faith life, from the first time I went at the age of six to the year I was a camp Totus Tuus counselor in Wichita (2019). That summer brought me so much joy and blessed me in ways I could never have imagined. So I decided to apply for a second summer. I am thrilled to spend my second Totus Tuus summer in Syracuse!

I am a sophomore vocal music education major. One of my favorite things is getting to praise God through my love for music!

My favorite saint is St. Terese of Lisieux. I love how she always served God and loved others through her little-ness. I do not see myself as someone with great power to change hearts around the world, but I can certainly strive to love others and serve God in little ways! I cannot wait to meet you all this summer! 


 

Michael square

Michael Assaf

Hometown: Camillus, NY

Hi everyone! My name is Michael and I am excited to be doing Totus Tuus for the first time. I am a recent graduate of Le Moyne College and a newly accepted seminarian for the Diocese of Syracuse! I grew up attending Holy Family parish in Fairmount and just spent the last year working in Madison, Wisconsin. My entire life I have been involved in youth groups both as an attendee and a volunteer and have made friends and learned lessons that have changed my life. I am very excited to do Totus Tuus this summer and look forward to meeting all of you!

My favorite saint would have to be St. Catherine of Siena. I only learned about her life in the last few years but I instantly found her example of faith and resolve to commit her whole life to God from a young age to be inspiring!

A fun fact about me is that I am color blind and absolutely love to play basketball and ultimate frisbee! 


 

Rachel croppedRachel Tower

Hometown: Waterville, NY

Hi everyone! My name is Rachel Tower, and I am from Waterville, NY. I am an upcoming senior at SUNY Cortland and am majoring in physical education. With my degree, I am planning on becoming a physical education teacher and basketball coach. This will be my first year as a Totus Tuus Missionary and I am so excited to work with everyone! I see every day as an opportunity to love, serve, and grow closer to God, and am hoping to do so as a Totus Tuus missionary!

My favorite saint is St. Therese of Lisieux, who is also my confirmation saint. I have been able to relate to her through different experiences in my life. She has always been by my side to intercede and help me through everything! I have learned much from her “Little Way” and it has had a positive impact on my life.

Some fun facts about me are that I have a twin sister, I love cats, playing basketball, music, nature, and spending time with my friends and family. I am so grateful and excited for this opportunity and can’t wait to meet everyone this summer!


 

Mary Gavin SquareMarty Gavin

Hometown: Saint Albans, VT

Hey all! My name is Marty Gavin and I am beyond excited to serve you all this summer as a Totus Tuus Missionary! I was born and raised in Virginia (near Washington D.C) but I live in Vermont now. I am currently a freshman at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, majoring in international business. When I moved to Vermont as a high schooler, I became involved in Totus Tuus, it was so helpful in my faith journey and I pray that it will be for you too! I am teaching Totus Tuus to share the incredible faith that I have found and to help you find a relationship with Jesus in your own unique way.

My favorite saint has to be my confirmation saint, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassatti. I try to emulate him in many ways. 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. I played soccer, football, basketball, and baseball in high school. I'm a huge sports fan (Washington DC all day!) and will talk about sports for hours. God bless! You are in my prayers!



hallhannah squareHannah Hall

Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Hey everyone! My name is Hannah and I am so excited to spend this summer with you all! I am from Syracuse, New York and I am a sophomore at the Catholic University of America. I am a double major in media and theology with a certificate in pastoral ministry. I grew up working within the Church and have participated in Totus Tuus for the past two years. I am so blessed to have this opportunity to serve others and grow in my faith. Our Lord is so good and I can't wait to see the way He moves my heart and the hearts of all those I will serve this summer!

The saints are AWESOME, but specifically one of my favorites is Pope Saint John Paul II because his teachings on the Theology of the Body changed my whole life.

Some fun facts about me are that I don't know how to ride a bike and I am terrified of butterflies... No, I am not kidding. Also, I love traveling and have been to 12 countries so far (and hopefully many more in the future!)


 

Liam HughesLiam Hughes

Hometown: Simsbury, CT

Hey everyone, my name is Liam Hughes and this is going to be my first summer serving as a Totus Tuus Missionary! I am currently enrolled as a junior at Franciscan University of Steubenville as a business management major. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to serve, meet and most importantly grow in faith with you all this summer!

My favorite saint is St. Paul as he has greatly inspired me with his zeal and love for spreading the Gospel message.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends, playing/watching sports, and reading good books!

 


 

Sarah Kuffler squareSarah Kuffler

Hometown: Arkansas City, KS

Greetings! My name is Sarah and I'm so very grateful to be spending my summer as a Totus Tuus Missionary in the Diocese of Syracuse! I am from Arkansas City, Kansas, and I am currently attending Wichita State University as an art major with an emphasis in painting. Totus Tuus has been an important part of my life and my faith, it has been a huge contributor to where my faith is now and I want to share my love for Totus Tuus with others. 

One of my most favorite saints is Joan of Arc; she's a prime example of bravery, strength, and unwavering faith in God. At such a young age, she accomplished amazing feats but it was her faith that has inspired me to this day.

Fun fact about me is that I am ambidextrous, but only when painting...it comes in handy during finals week.


 

Dan Dan O'Malley 

Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Hi everyone! My name is Dan O'Malley and this will be my third year as a Totus Tuus missionary! I cannot wait for another summer of faith, learning, and tons of fun! I am currently a junior at Saint Michael's College in Vermont, where I am majoring in religious studies, with minors in education and English.

The past two summers have been some of the best experiences of my life! Totus Tuus is not only an amazing opportunity to serve and lead youth closer to Christ, but it also allows me to continue to grow in my faith! I knew I could not pass up another chance to pray, teach, and make memories with everyone I encounter this summer!

My favorite Saint is St. Oscar Romero, because of the incredible leadership and courage he displayed through times of great adversity as a priest in El Salvador. As someone who hopes to work in Catholic ministry and education, I strive to model the virtues St. Oscar Romero demonstrated every day!

As for some fun facts, I am colorblind and my absolute favorite food is buffalo chicken wings! I cannot wait to get to work and meet all of you this summer! God bless!


 

Kailey Seiler squareKailey Seiler

Hometown: Andale, KS

Hello everyone! My name is Kailey Seiler. I am currently majoring in secondary education at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. I hope to transfer to Emporia State University in the fall and become a high school teacher afterward.

This will be my third summer teaching Totus Tuus! I’m super excited to share the faith with others and meet new people. Totus Tuus has truly been life-changing, it’s offered so many graces, and I’ve met most of my friends through this program.

My favorite saint is St. Padre Pío because he is the patron of worry and I continue to learn about trust from him.

A fun fact about me is that I love playing hacky sack!


 

 

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