Home » MKLM » Meet Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ Class of 2021


Watch this video of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ Class of 2021. They are, from left: Francis Wayne, Jaclyn Geyer, Liz Cunningham, Megan Hamilton, Laurie Rumpf, Louise Locke, Kathy Kang, Josh Wetmore, Susan Feeney, Bob Cunningham, Andy Perry; Deirdre Griffin, SSJ; and Victoria Arce. Photo by Josh Wetmore.


Maryknoll Lay Missioners is pleased and proud to introduce our newest Class of 2021. This group of 13 — our largest class since 2005 — will be sent into mission during a special Sending Ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. (EST). Due to COVID restrictions, participation in the ceremony at the Maryknoll Society’s Queen of the Apostles Chapel is limited. However, the celebration will be livestreamed and available on our website (the link will be posted on our homepage at mklm.org).

Here are our 13 new Maryknoll lay missioner candidates:

Victoria Arce (Santa Maria, Calif.) – Bolivia

Victoria grew up in Southern California and describes herself as a “strong Hispanic woman.” For the past 25 years she worked for the County of Santa Barbara. As a job training specialist, she assisted individuals facing layoffs and other economic challenges to identify and meet their employment, training and educational goals and overcome other challenges to employment (substance abuse, domestic abuse, homelessness, legal issues, lack of basic skills/education, etc.). A special project was providing employment services to individuals referred to drug court programs. Successful completion allowed them to avoid criminal convictions, a major barrier to employment. She also worked as a juvenile probation officer. She received her B.A. from the University of Southern California. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and kayaking.

 

Bob and Liz Cunningham (Concord, Mass.) – El Salvador

Bob and Liz grew up on Long Island, New York, and met in high school. Both of them have careers in development and fundraising. Bob worked for PIVOT, a global health NGO until last year. Liz worked for the Archdiocese of Boston. They have three children.

Bob was a Jesuit Volunteer in California, and he has been involved in prison ministry ever since. He recently served on the board of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps. Bob has a B.A. in political science from Holy Cross and an M.A. in history from New York University. He completed a spiritual direction practicum at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. His hobbies are running, reading history and bird watching. Liz received a B.S. in business management from St. John’s University (New York). She also has been involved with prison ministry as well as parish ministry. Her hobbies are reading, yoga, and watching movies.

 

Susan Feeney (Skillman, N.J.) – Kenya

Susan is a tax lawyer who received her B.S. in secondary education from Seton Hall and her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. She went on a Maryknoll Lay Missioners Friends Across Borders trip to Tanzania. Susan is a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, an organization that supports Christians in the Holy Land. She was active in her parish as a eucharistic minister and mentor for the youth group. She enjoys horseback riding, cooking and traveling.

Susan has been involved in providing pro bono legal services to underserved communities throughout her legal career, including working on trafficking cases, domestic violence cases and also securing legal resolutions for undocumented immigrants and formerly incarcerated individuals.

 

Jaclyn Geyer (Tacoma, Wash.) – Tanzania

Jaclyn grew up in Tacoma and earned a B.A. in history from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, where she ran cross country and track. She has studied abroad in New Zealand, Tanzania and Rome and has a special fondness for Tanzania, therefore. Jaclyn is a convert to Catholicism. After college, she served in AmeriCorps with the Campus Kitchens Project at Gonzaga University and with the Norbertine Volunteer Community in Green Bay, Wisconsin (serving at St. Willebrord Parish). She has worked with community gardens, an experience which made her very interested in sustainability and environmental issues. She worked the last few years at FedEx Ground as an operations administrator. Her interests include reading, movies, hiking, sports, board games and all things Star Trek and Lord of the Rings.

 

Deirdre Griffin, SSJ (Springfield, Mass.) – Border

Deirdre is a Sister of Saint Joseph. She is an attorney, with experience in immigration law, and most recently worked as the director of international programs at the College of Our Lady of the Elms. Throughout her career, Deirdre has utilized her legal training in a variety of ways in service of people who are marginalized. She has worked with interpreters in the courts, enhanced access to emergency food resources in her neighborhood, and directed the refugee resettlement program at Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Western Massachusetts. At JFS, she and a team of culturally diverse staff members sought to offer something of the radical hospitality of God through welcoming people seeking safety from Somalia, Iraq, Bhutan, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan. When she is not working, Deirdre loves cultural music and dancing.

 

Megan Hamilton (Fayetteville, W.Va.) – Kenya

Megan grew up mostly in the Baltimore area. Most recently she worked with the Franciscan Mission Service in Jamaica, where she developed an enrichment program for dementia patients. She has also herself created more than one successful NGO, including a very successful arts program in Baltimore. Previously, she was in the Peace Corps in Albania, where she helped in a Cultural Center for youth. In her free time, she loves running and walking, swimming, and juggling.

 

Kathy Kang (Cerritos, Calif.) – Brazil

Kathy grew up in Korea and came to the U.S. as a teenager. She has a B.S. in computer information systems from DeVry University and most recently worked as a software engineer. Her passion, though, is working with people, and she recently spent a year in Cambodia, where she worked with an education program run by Jesuit Service Cambodia. In her free time, she likes traveling and reading.

 

Laurie Rumpf (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) – Tanzania

Laurie grew up in East Haven, Connecticut. Most of her career has been spent in fundraising, including working for Maryknoll Lay Missioners as a major gifts officer from 2014 to 2016. More recently, she worked for Bread for the World. These experiences have given her a broad glimpse into many world problems, including hunger (Bread for the World’s focus), but she longs to have a more hands-on experience of ministry. She has volunteered in a variety of local organizations and has taken several Friends Across Borders trips with Maryknoll Lay Missioners. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, gardening and outdoor activities such as hiking and fishing.

 

Louise Locke (Derwood, Md.) – Bolivia

Louise most recently worked as a pastoral associate for a parish serving a large retirement community. She has also worked as a hospital and hospice chaplain and pastoral care coordinator for several nursing homes in New Orleans. She has volunteered in Florida to provide food and other assistance to those in need, spent 3 years offering her services to Catholic Volunteers in Florida and Good News Outreach and has been on an immersion trip to the U.S.-Mexico border. She is a member of Pax Christi. Louise received her B.A. in marketing from University of Maryland, an M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University, and an M.S. in counseling and masters in pastoral studies from Loyola Institute for Ministry in New Orleans. Her hobbies are dancing, especially Cajun and Zydeco (from her New Orleans days), reading inspirational biographies and memoirs, gardening, bird watching and working all types of puzzles.

 

Allison (Andy) Perry (Millbrook, Ala.) – Tanzania

Andy grew up in Meredosia, Illinois. In May 2020 she graduated from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville with a major in geography, with a focus in religious and cultural demographic cartography and GIS engineering and a minor in peace and international studies. She was privileged during her time there to happen upon the Newman Center and converted to Catholicism. She has served as a short-term assistant teacher in Nepal for a month, and also spent a month in Jamaica on a service-immersion trip. In addition, she has many domestic service experiences. Andy most recently worked full time in Appalachia (McCreary County, Kentucky) with the elderly.

 

Francis Wayne (Baltimore) – Kenya

Francis is originally from Kentucky. He is a contractor with his own home repair business. He served as a Maryknoll lay missioner in Kenya from 1993 until 1996. Francis returned to Kenya as a volunteer with the Quakers. He worked with the Appalachian Service Project, Alternative to Violence prison ministry program, and Boys to Men as a youth mentor. He has taught math, carpentry, religion and meditation. He received an associate degree from Owensboro Community College. His hobbies are walking, reading and watching mechanic shows on YouTube or watching PBS. He also has a deep interest in learning about different religious cultures.

 

Josh Wetmore (Pittsburgh) – El Salvador

Josh has spent the last two years working with students from fourth to 12th grade as part of the Steel City Squash program in Pittsburgh. He previously worked at a similar program, Racquet Up Detroit, as a Jesuit Volunteer in Detroit. For six years prior, he was a sports information director in college athletics. Josh graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in newspaper journalism. His hobbies include sports, playing the drums, photography, videography and graphic design.

 


Go into mission with this inspiring group by supporting their mission journeys:

 

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Maryknoll Lay Missioners works with those at the margins for a more just, compassionate and sustainable world in Africa, Asia and the Americas.