Teachers

Meet the Teachers

Monica Konizeski

Hey there! My name is Monica Konizeski. I am currently blessed to be entering into my sophomore year at Thomas Aquinas College in southern California where I am pursuing a degree in liberal arts, which is to say I am majoring in theology and philosophy. The Lord has inspired me with a love of learning and I believe He is calling me to continue my education in graduate school once I finish with my undergraduate studies. One of my favorite saints is Thomas Aquinas because he was so naturally and supernaturally wise and he deeply understood what it is to be human, which is something that I am trying to figure out myself. I Iove art, paddle-boarding, swing sets, hiking, poetry, swimming in the ocean, basketball, stairs, diagramming sentences, dancing, literature, folk music, roller-coasters and long lists without Oxford commas. Trying new challenges and activities and being with all kinds of people are other things that bring me tremendous joy. I am thrilled to be a Totus Tuus Teacher and to bring others closer to Christ this summer!

Emily Pillatzki

I am currently teaching my third summer of Totus Tuus (second summer in Colorado). This past year, I served as a missionary with NET Ministries on a parish team in Plano, Texas. I find joy in long car trip by myself, skydiving, ladybugs, painting, the colors purple and grey, the mountains, reading, and many other things. My favorite Saints include St.  Bernardine of Sienna, St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, St. John Bosco, and St. John Paul the Great. I am excited for this summer to grow in my relationship with the Lord and to see where He will lead me to in the future.

Sam Munson

I am a Denver seminarian attending St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, and I will be going into second philosophy in the fall. I am originally from Mead Colorado, but I’ve spent most of my middle school and high school days living in Loveland Colorado. Before seminary, I attended college at the University of Northern Colorado where I received my bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in political science. One of my favorite Saints is St. Gemma Galgani. She was a young Italian Saint who died at the age of 25, St. Gemma is the patron Saint of students and headaches, and has been a constant companion for me both outside and inside the seminary. My life is filled with joy when I am helping and walking my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ through the healing words of the Gospel and the lives of the saints. I look forward to the many blessings that the Lord has in store for me as I continue my journey toward greater trust and complete self-surrender to Gods will, both as a teacher for Totus Tuus and one day (God willing) as His Priest!

Sarah Linnebur

Hello ya’ll! My name is Sarah Linnebur and I am from Colorado! I have completed my undergraduate in IPHY at CU-Boulder and will transferring into the Nursing department up in Laramie, Wyoming. With my Nursing degree, I hope to be able to work with geriatrics in oncology and possibly pediatrics. Oooooo, my favorite saint would have to be my confirmation saint,  St. Therese of Lisieux! Do i need to explain her awesomeness?!?! 🙂  I believe that God had in store for me in my near future, to finish schooling and then afterwards, I will learn more about where I am to be with prayer. Where I get the joy in my life is from a few different things; learning more about my faith, being around my family, being able to go out exploring in nature, music, dancing and having a solid group of good friends. Can’t wait to meet ya’ll this summer!!!

Kevin Kasel

I am a Colorado Native, having grown up in Pueblo, Co before going off to UNC in Greeley, Co to study Violin Performance, then Computer Science, and ultimately landing my B.S. in Mathematics.  I was working in the technology field in the Insurance and later in the Oil and Gas industry before becoming open to the call from God to be His priest.  I have been attending SJV for almost 2 years now and will begin my 2nd year of Philosophy in the Fall 2017 semester.  In my home parish of St. Peters in Greeley, Co, I was heavily involved in sacramental prep for baptism, first communion, and confirmation.  I was also blessed by being able to participate in the homebound, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, Youth, and Music ministries. I have long had affinity towards St. Anthony of Padua, but I have noticed actions and moments in my life as of late I have attributed to St. Theresa of Lisieux, St. John Marie Vianney. I don’t really know what the Lord has in store for me in the near future, though in the past I would love to have guessed, such is no longer my disposition anymore having been so utterly surprised by God’s work and generosity.I find life and joy in Christ Crucified, the love of the Father, the warmth of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Mass, the sacraments, Our Lady, The Word of God, and the Liturgy of the Hours.

Dario Melgoza

My name is Dario Melgoza, this is my first year participating in Totus Tuus. I have been looking forward to having the opportunity to spend my summer with Totus Tuus since my freshman year of high school which was my first year participating in Totus Tuus. I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I love being outdoors my main activities I enjoy doing are fishing and going to the gym. I come from a small town on the Western Slope. I have finished my first year of college at the University of Northern Colorado, I am debating on transferring to a school closer to home. My favorite saint is St. Sebastian his story of unbreakable courage toward the roman emperor has invigorated me to be strong with my faith and to not given to modern society. I believe the Lord wants me to continue down the path of college but I am also praying to see if I seminary is my calling. My joy comes from being around other people who inspire me to become the best I can. I look forward to having a beautiful and blessed summer.

Mary Bade

I am currently a student at Red Rocks knocking out all the basics and then I want to transfer and major in youth ministry.  For me choosing a favorite saint is like choosing a favorite ice cream, they are all amazing and it’s not an easy decision.  My favorite at the moment is Bl. Chiara Badano, I admire the joy she had in life even in the midst of suffering.  (My favorite ice cream at the moment is hazelnut gelato.) I don’t know what God has planned for me in the near future I’m just going to keep moving until I figure it out.  I am a firm believer in crazy socks, coffee, Disney, and random facts.  I love music, rain, and flannels, that pretty much sums me up.

Cameron Schimmoller

Hi, my name is Cameron Schimmoller! I am a sophomore at CU Boulder, double majoring in electrical engineering and applied mathematics. My favorite saint would have to be my patron saint, St. Vincent de Paul. He served the poor and needy in Italy and even offered to be taken by pirates in place of someone else. A close second would be Pope St. John Paul II, whose influence on the modern church is drastic. In the near future, the Lord is preparing me to continue my college career as I try to finish up my undergraduate studies. In terms of my spiritual life, the Lord has been preparing me to reach out in my faith and share it to an even greater capacity, and I also feel the Lord is calling me to take more drastic steps in discerning my vocation this year. Beyond the Lord and His Church, I find joy in baseball, boxing, classic rock music, and magic tricks. I LOVE the gift of the outdoors and will go outside to do whatever at any given time. Even though the Rockies are not the best baseball team, I am a big fan and will watch them anytime.

Pam Anderson

My name is Pam Anderson and I just finished up my sophomore year at Regis University, where I study Religious Studies with an emphasis in theology and probably a minor in Philosophy. My favorite saints are St. Philomena, St. John the Evangelist, and St. Maximilian Kolbe. I am not exactly sure as to what God has in store for my future, but I am looking forward to grow spiritually this summer and hopefully I can help others grow within the Catholic faith as well. I enjoy hiking, playing outdoors, watching and playing sports, and going camping and boating. I also love to dance like no is watching and sing like no one is listening, watching movies, and reading books. I can’t wait to spend my time with all of you this summer! Keep me in your prayers, and know that you are in mine!

Maria Redman

Hi! My name is Maria Redman. I have just completed my second year of college at UNC where I am studying to become a middle school or high school math teacher. I have always wanted to become a teacher because of my love for sharing knowledge and my great desire is impact other’s lives, helping them become all they were created to be! And this is what bring me here to totus tuus, where I am able to continue my mission of educating and making an impact. Besides the joy I receive from teaching and the joy of the Lord I experience from sharing my faith, I also receive much joy from immersing myself in His creation. I enjoy staying active and am always down for an adventure exploring the beautiful Rocky Mountains. My favorite activities include hiking, skiing, boating, camping, running, playing ultimate Frisbee, and occasionally doing art. My confirmation Saint, St. Maria Goretti, shares the same first name as me, though this is not why I chose her. Recently, however, I have found much fascination and inspiration from the stories of St. John Paul II, St. Faustina, St. Theresa of Calcutta, and St. Therese of Lisieux. I have a strong devotion to Our Lady and the Divine Mercy. They have largely influenced my faith formation and it is something I hope to share with the children and youth this summer. I am excited to see all the ways in which the Lord will impact me and all those I will encounter this summer! I cannot say what exactly the Lord has in store for me in the near future, but I strive to listen for his call one day at a time. May his graces pour upon us this summer and may our hearts be open to receive his abundant love!

Jonathan Francois

I live in Atchison, Kansas where I attend Benedictine College pursuing degrees in Philosophy, Theology, and Evangelization & Catechetics. St. Augustine is my favorite Saint because of his encounter with the Word and his radicality. After graduation, the Lord will most likely have me partnering with an organization to do mission work either as a lay person, or perhaps in a religious order. I love coffee shops, learning to play guitar, canoeing, going on long runs, throwing around a baseball, listening to choral music, and hanging out with my brothers. “Death before Decaf” is my lifelong motto.

Mary Lynch

Hello!! My name is Mary Lynch and I am so excited to be back for my second year of teaching Totus Tuus in Denver.  I am going into my Senior at CU Boulder and I am studying Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. My two favorite saints are Saint John the Apostle and St. Therese of Lisieux, due to their unwavering trust, humility and abandonment to the Lord.  I am learning American Sign Language and hope to attend graduate school to become a Speech Pathologist and work more specifically with the Deaf community.  I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for me, whether it be more schooling, mission work, or who knows what else- I am stoked because God’s plans are always the best plans!  I love running, taking long walks with my golden retrievers, and spending any time I can in God’s beautiful creation.  My favorite foods are avocados and sweet potatoes.  I cannot wait to see the graces and plans our Blessed Mother has in store for this Summer, and how she is inviting us to grow in deeper trust and abandonment to her son!   

Elizabeth Lynch

Hey there!! My name is Elizabeth Lynch and I couldn’t be more excited to be teaching Totus Tuus this summer. I am a sophomore at the University of Colorado Boulder where I am studying History and Secondary Education. My favorite saint is Saint Maximillian Kolbe. His unshackle witness to the gospel, zeal for the Lord, and humility inspires me everyday! After graduating college, I hope to become a high school History Teacher. I couldn’t be more thrilled to see what Jesus has in store for my future. I love spending time in the sunshine, singing musical theatre karaoke, and cuddling my two golden retrievers. Thank you for inviting Totus Tuus into your community, and I look forward to being able to share the Good News of the Gospel this summer!

Owen Chase

Hey! I am a student trying to study Psychology and Education at the beautiful University of San Diego. I have a deep longing for wholesome fatherhood, which is why, among other reasons, Joseph, the father of Jesus, is my favorite Saint. My future is a mystery, but that’s what keeps me wanting to explore what God has in store for me down the road. Aside from this mystery, it seems as though God is calling me to continue to learn how to play music, practice my rowing and basketball skills, and to seek for a deeper relationship with Christ and His Church. This relationship, alongside my relationships with my family and friends, is cause of joy in my life. Together, family, friends, and faith make a heck of a combo. Aside from these things, I really enjoy athletics, good food and coffee, and the joy of community.

Alexandra Martinez

Hi, I’m Alexandra Martinez! I am a freshman at Colorado State University studying Health and Exercise Science and I absolutely love it. I think the Lord wants me to continue my studies and hopefully becoming a pediatric physical therapist in the near future! One of my favorite saints is the coolest lady ever, St. Theresa of Avila! I really enjoy  the beauty of the world God created with good quality people & snacks, as well as any and all types of dogs!

Ryan Ward

Hello everyone!  My name is Ryan and this is my third summer teaching Totus Tuus.  I loved it so much that I just couldn’t stay away!  I am a religious studies major at CU Boulder.  I took last year off to go work as a missionary in Washington DC, but if I had stayed this would be my super senior year.  I am very excited to go back and to finish my degree.  I love teaching children, which is part of why I am back for my third summer, and after I get my degree I plan on looking for teaching jobs around Denver.  My favorite saint is St. Faustina and I am incredibly excited for this summer of teaching!  Thank you all very much and please pray for me and all the other teachers!

Katelyn Mendoza

Hello! My name is Katelyn Mendoza and I am currently studying Elementary Education with a concentration in ESL at the University of Northern Colorado. I will be entering into my senior year next fall, and who knows what the Lord has planned me after graduation. I’m just happy to say that these years of college have been an amazing adventure with Christ, and I can’t wait to see what’s next (hopefully, a full-time missionary!).  As for my favorite saint (or saints), I would have to say St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Mother Teresa. I look to St. Therese for help when it comes to doing little things for Jesus, and to Mother Teresa when it comes to serving others, especially in difficult times. Honestly though, I have many favorite saints. I also like to hike, read, and go fun crazy adventures.