MISSION TEAM LEADERS

David Lawless
David LawlessMission Team Leader
I am David. Yes, my last name is as it sounds from outlawed Irish Catholics who chose to obey God’s laws over man’s, keeping the Faith while underground through centuries of Protestant English government outlawing and persecuting Catholics. I was a happy kid until talking age, when bitterness began to creep in while I struggled hard to communicate, due to a speech impediment caused by an autistic disorder. Even when I was able to talk around 7-8 years old, I felt real understanding would never happen.

God remained though, teaching and fostering in me a deep love of learning, building, growing, music, history, theology, philosophy, outdoors, and all the true, good, and beautiful of Catholic culture, endowing me with what the world might call a handy-hardworking-renaissance-man, who could come up with a solution to just about anything you didn’t even know was possible;) I conceitedly attributed these goods to me and for misfortunes I blamed circumstance. I had everything perfectly backwards, reversed, and upside-down!

Blind, and ungrateful as I was, that didn’t stop Him coaxing me toward real freedom from my tangled mess of bitter resentment, and in the spring of 2019, through a chain of graced happenings, He lead me through a general confession to full-out deliverance from my locked up, mute, and lonely darkness, so that I can now speak, and see that I am heard, known, loved, and never alone.

Since then, I’ve been abiding in the Father’s Love like never before, and having crawled and toddled in this way for a few years now, I am just starting to feel like I can run! Sending me on 2 CMT spring missions, Christ gave me abundant opportunities to encounter Him in others to really hear, know, and love others with His own Presence and Sacred Heart, and to see them experience that same freedom, in Him, expanding my own heart in His, in theirs every time.

So grateful to be sent to even more missions with CMT! I sincerely hope and pray that all of you may experience His Loving Presence beyond all doubt, and receive the grace to give whole heartedly to God’s mission in just the way He calls you to, and truly taste the Joy and Peace of Christ in mission that floods our hearts every time we finally “Go, sell all you have, give to the poor, and come, follow me.”

Favorite Saint: Joseph of Nazareth
Favorite Quote: “Jesus” -Joseph naming Jesus Mat. 1:25
Favorite Scripture: John Ch. 17 -the powerful Love of Father and Son being manifested by the words of the Word filling a whole chapter, epic prayer to close out Christ’s final discourse with His disciples before His passion. Must read this 17th chapter of John!

Stephen Cowdrey
Stephen CowdreyMission Leader/Contractor
Hi my name is Stephen Cowdrey I am a freelance contractor. Dedicated to serving the community in and around Florida through building and restoring housing or facilities. I apprenticed in San Francisco, CA. for 5 years in the studies of electrical and woodworking. Followed by building barn style homes in the north east. I currently have an art studio in Tallahassee Florida and striving to read the Bible in a year! I am passionate in art, skateboarding and being with friends and family! And above all my faith in Jesus!

Favorite Saint: Joan of Arc

Favorite Saint Quote:“Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”
– Mary speaking to Juan Diego

Noah Kungel
Noah KungelMission Leader
Hello! My Name is Noah Kungel and I am a seminarian studying for the Archdiocese of Edmonton, Alberta up in the Great White North which is Canada. I grew up on a farm near Edmonton and after High School I decided the Lord was calling me to discern the priesthood at Saint Joseph Seminary. Now I just finished up my third year and it has been a fantastic time of formation! In my free time I love to play sports of all kinds! This may sound like a bit of a stereotype but Hockey is certainly one of my favorites! I also enjoy rock climbing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and, after the snow melts, dirt biking and ultimate frisbee. I am excited to come and serve alongside all of you this summer!

Favorite Saint: St. Maximilian Kolbe.
Favorite Verse:Matthew 6:34. “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Nick Higgins
Nick HigginsMission Leader
Nick Higgins was born and raised in Florida and frequently travels to Honduras, Latin America where his Catholic missionary community, Missioners of Christ, is based. Nick recently started a small coffee business to support the people of Honduras and is also a bilingual worship leader, blogger, and speaker.

Favorite Saint: St. Joseph
Favorite Verse: John 20:21 “Peace be with you”

Jake Spencer
Jake SpencerMission Leader
Hey everyone! I’m Jacob, a senior studying criminal justice at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Alaska has been my home for most of my life, and some of my favorite activities include hiking, fishing, and hunting. I’m looking forward to serving with you in Lake Charles, Louisiana, over spring break! My faith backstory is that I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I surrendered to the Lord, where I was baptized and confirmed. As a result of serving with CMT last summer, I have felt compelled to ground my identity in Christ and to take my faith beyond the pew.

Favorite Scripture: Timothy 6:11-12

Favorite Saint: Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Isela Caudillo
Isela CaudilloMission Team Leader
Hola Brothers & Sisters in Christ! My name is Isela Caudillo. I am originally from the state of Jalisco in Mexico! However since a young age of 7, I was raised in California. By God’s grace and mercy I came to learn for the first time in my life how much I was loved by our Heavenly Father in a charismatic renewal retreat in 2013 and ever since, my faith and spiritual journey began. With a great desire to serve our Lord and his people, I passionately sought opportunities to do so and came to encounter CMT in 2018. I had the blessing to serve 4 times, twice in Los Angeles, CA and twice in Puerto Rico.
Having still the ardent desire to serve the Lord as a 24/7 missionary, I finally decided to leave everything and embark a new adventure as a missionary with the Missionaries Servants of the Word in September 2019, where we served the
Kingdom of God by sharing his Holy Word by holding Bible Studies and retreats for the communities we were sent to mission to. After a little over 2 years, I just returned back and seeking to continue the calling of every Catholic to evangelize the whole world. I humbling ask you to pray for all of us at CMT and our upcoming youth and young adults participating. May we be docile to the Holy inspirations of the Holy Spirit! St.Joseph – Pray for us!

Favorite Scripture: ” Yet just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down And do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, Giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, So shall MY WORD be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me empty, but shall do what pleases me, achieving the end for which I sent it. Yes, in joy you shall go forth, in peace you shall be brought home; Mountains and hills shall break out in song before you, all trees of the field shall clap their hands.” -Isaiah 55,11

Michelle Kilmer
Michelle KilmerMission Leader
Hello! My name is Michelle Kilmer and I am a senior at Catholic University located in Washington, DC. I am studying nursing as well as a member of the rowing team. I am so excited to serve as a mission trip leader this year! I am the third oldest of eleven and was raised in a Catholic family. In my sophomore year of college, I went on a mission trip to Colorado where I lived with Little Sisters of the Poor and served at a homeless shelter. Through this experience, I really deepened my faith in Christ and love of service. Serving is an opportunity to give ourselves to others, reveal Christ to them, and lead them to God.

Favorite Saint: Mother Teresa
Favorite Quote: “Sanctify yourself, sanctify your work, and sanctify others through your work” -St. Josemaria Escriva

Emily Durr
Emily DurrMission Leader
Hi! My name is Emily Durr, and I am currently a freshman at Siena Heights University located in Adrian, Michigan. I am a Nursing student as well as a member of the women’s lacrosse team. My life took off last year, when I attended my first youth group. I have been Catholic my whole life, but it wasn’t until my senior year that I challenged myself to understand and believe every aspect of Catholicism. I have pushed myself ever since then, and am now on fire for Christ. Last summer, God called me to be a camp counselor for children with all different backgrounds and medical conditions. Every week, I helped kids overcome fears and step out of their comfort zone. It truly was a summer full of love. Now, God is calling me to something even greater this summer. I am being called to chase after Christ in every aspect of my life, as well as inspire others to do the same. I cannot wait to experience the Lord’s grace all summer with the people that I meet.

Favorite Saint Quote: “Live simply so that others may simply live.”-Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Favorite Scripture: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”-Proverbs 3:5
Christopher Spiegel
Christopher SpiegelMission Leader
My name is Christopher and I am honored to serve with you all this summer! I graduated from Florida State University in 2017 and served as a full-time missionary in rural Honduras at a children’s home post-graduation called Finca del Nino, Farm of the Child. I most recently was a candidate for the Society of Jesus, Canada Province but am now living and serving God’s people in Florida. While in University I encountered a living Christ during an international mission and have been on fire to serve Our Lord since! Whether it is spending time in prayer and studying the word or living out the faith with acts of service I am always looking to find God in the greatest gift, the present. You all are in my thoughts and prayers as we prepare to serve together this summer, may God bless us and use us as instruments of love and peace to those we serve! AMDG

Favorite Saint: Mother Teresa 

Favorite Quote: “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”  -Mother Teresa
Alana Endres
Alana EndresMission Leader
Hi, my name is Alana Endres, and I am so excited to be serving as a missionary for a week in South Texas this year! On an ordinary work day, you can find me in North Texas at an amazing company called Catholic Marketing Network. I started there a year ago, and it has been the best! I love that I get to help support Catholic businesses within and outside of the US. Being a part of the Catholic business world is a constant reminder that our faith truly is a Universal Faith, meant for all. It also allows me to work with some big names in the Catholic world, which is an appreciated bonus 🙂

When I’m not working, I love to hang out with my friends at concerts and country dance halls, or in my hometown with my big, loud family.

Throughout my life, I have seen the huge difference an active faith life makes, and am excited to share what I’ve learned with those in South Texas. Thanks for saying yes to this mission trip… You won’t regret it!

Favorite Saint: St. Philomena

Favorite Scripture: “Isaiah 43:1-5”
Favorite Quote: “You are relentlessly pursued and ridiculously celebrated.” – Fr. Mike Schmitz
Jacob Wessel
Jacob WesselMission Leader

MUSICIANS/WORSHIP LEADERS

Emilio Morales
Emilio MoralesWorship/Mission Leader
Hello there!! My name is Emilio Morales and I am currently a student at Sam Houston State University. I am currently pursuing a degree in middle school math education and frequently involved with my Catholic organization on campus. I have been doing praise and worship for about 3 years now and choir for about 8 years and love every aspect of it. The instruments I play are the violin, guitar, and piano. I am actually from the Valley which is where our mission trip will be, so I think this is Gods way of telling me to be a part of this amazing experience! I am so excited and looking forward to seeing what God has is store for us!!

Favorite saint: Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Favorite Scripture: Joshua 1:9 “I have given you a command. Be strong and brave, do not be afraid nor dismayed. I, the Lord, your God, will be with you wherever you go.”

Stephen Santos
Stephen SantosWorship/Mission Leader
Hi my name is Stephen Santos and I am a proud father of 5 amazing children. I have the coolest dog ever, named ‘North’ and a cat Ophelia, who is also cool, but not as cool as North. I love to tell stories. I write books and music all for the purpose of telling stories that help people connect to Jesus. I love being outside, whether it’s hiking, rock climbing, mt. biking, or paddling on the water. I can’t get enough of God’s creation and the ways I get to meet with Him in the midst of it. I consider it the greatest joy in my life to consider Jesus as my friend, and constantly marvel at the adventures we’ve had. I’m so excited for this trip and the adventures that all of us will have together with Him! Looking forward to seeing you all in the DR!

Favorite Scripture: Isaiah 43:16-19
Thus says the LORD, who opens a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, Who leads out chariots and horsemen, a powerful army, Till they lie prostrate together, ever to rise, snuffed out, quenched like a wick. Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the wilderness I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers.

Brian Tucker
Brian TuckerWorship/Mission Leader
Hello everyone! I’m Brian. I am a musician and signal-processing engineer residing in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and am excited to help lead on my first CMT trip and share my love of service and praising God through music with you all! I sing and play piano for my diocese for youth and young adult events, eucharistic adoration nights, masses and community events and I write my own praise music. I’ve spent most of my life in the Springs and so I also like to hike, mountain bike, snowboard, and travel.

Favorite Saint:St. Anthony of Padua
Favorite Scripture Verse: Philippians 4:6-7
Favorite Saint quote: “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”

<strong>Francesca Ani</strong>
Francesca AniWorship/Mission Leader
Francesca Ani began her journey to Christian Contemporary music at the tender age of 5 years old. From the time she could speak, Francesca was singing. In 2015, Francesca’s honest and heartfelt style won over the judges of a Tampa Bay Talent Search. Inspired by women such as Lauren Daigle and Carole King, in 2016 Francesca released her first pop EP, “Open Your Arms.” Although her heart always called her to perform, her faith ultimately led her to use her gift for more than just entertainment. Francesca’s goal is to convey the message of the gospel with light and joy for any listener no matter their faith. Francesca is currently focusing on youth ministry and youth worship around the greater Tampa area.

Fast Facts with Fran!
My Favorite bible verse is constantly changing! Right now it’s John 15. Pruning is a good thing, friends 🙂
I’m only 5 feet tall, still hoping to hit a late growth spurt.
I work at a Catholic radio station in Tampa, Florida!
Movies with dogs make me cry. This also includes commercials for movies about dogs.
I live off The Office, Friends, and Schitt’s Creek.
Do I go to Disney way more than the socially acceptable amount? Oh definitely… but that’s okay.

Favorite Scripture: John 15. Pruning is a good thing, friends 🙂

Vanessa Carrillo
Vanessa CarrilloWorship/Mission Leader
Favorite Quote: “Man cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.” – Gaudium et Spes

<strong>Briana Claire</strong>
Briana ClaireWorship/Mission Leader
Greetings! My name is Briana Claire! Florida is my home sweet home. I am currently taking a break from my healthcare job to discern God’s will for my life! My hobbies are kayaking, writing music, and playing guitar at coffee shops and nursing homes! From my youth, I have given my musical gifts at the service of Christ and His Church! I’m excited to lead us in worship and serve with you all in Panama City, FL and Lake Charles, LA! My favorite saint is currently on the road to sainthood, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati! Pier Giorgio was 24 years old when he died (same age as me right now! J). He was an adventurous young man who prayed with his friends, served the poor, and sought social reform. My favorite quote is “Verso L’alto”, in English it translates to “ To the heights”.

Favorite Saint: Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Favorite Quote: “Verso L’alto”

Sophie Salopek
Sophie SalopekWorship/Mission Leader
Hi there! My name is Sophie Salopek. I’m currently a student at Louisiana State University, and I’m studying civil engineering! I have also always had a deep love for music, and have found myself pursuing the Lord through singing and leading praise and worship! One of my favorite saints is St. Faustina Kowalska. I’ve been in the process of reading her diary over the past few years, and one of my favorite excerpts from it says this, “All our daily little nothings will be placed at the feet of the Lord Jesus as a propitiatory offering for the world…” There is more to it, but that first line always strikes me, and reminds me of the importance of our daily little nothings 🙂

Favorite Saint: St. Faustina 

Favorite Quote: “All our daily little nothings will be placed at the feet of the Lord Jesus as a
propitiatory offering for the world…”-St. Faustina
Andrew Ferguson
Andrew FergusonWorship/Mission Leader
Hey guys! My name is Andrew Ferguson, and I will be leading worship for our trip to Ohio! I am currently a senior at LSU in mechanical engineering. Bonus fact: this will be my first ever mission trip, and I’m excited to see how the LORD wants to work through me for you guys and the community! My favorite Saint is St. Joseph (original, I know). He is my confirmation Saint, and I look to him as a model of manliness and humility. My current favorite scripture is Exodus 25:8, in which the LORD says “Let them make for Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.” We can talk about why it’s mt fav when we get there :]   See y’all there!

Favorite Saint: St. Joseph

Favorite Scripture: “Let them make for Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.” -Exodus 25:8

SITE COORDINATORS / CONTRACTORS

Mitch Martin
Mitch MartinContractor
Mitch Martin also known as the “Saint Joseph” of our CMT mission trips. Mitch founded Ave Maria Construction company which is now carried on by his son. He spends his free time instructing the CMT work projects for the youth and college students in the home repairs for the poor in the the Lake Charles area. Mitch is dedicated to the Cursillo movement in the Church and hosts large gathering of folks from all the families homes he has helped build throughout the decades in the local area, the fraternity he has build in the church, and his 53 grandchildren and 4 great-grands and counting!
Slade Fitzgerald
Slade FitzgeraldWork Project Supervisor
My name is Slade Fitzgerald, and I am the project supervisor for the San Fidel mission trip. I am an Associate Professor of electrical technology at the North Dakota State College of Science. I brought a group to Lake Charles, Louisiana last year, and it went so well, I said yes when they asked me to come to New Mexico! I look forward to helping you with your mission, and growing your faith!

Favorite Saint Quote: “I believe though I do not comprehend, and I hold by faith what I cannot grasp with the mind.” – St Bernard of Clairvaux.

Joe & Margie Grieshop
Joe & Margie GrieshopContractors-Kentucky
After watching the documentary Harlan, USA from their home in Minnesota in the early 80’s with their 2 small children, the Grieshop’s responded to a missionary call to serve the poor in Harlan. Joe served as the director of Christian Outreach with Appalachian People, building over 300 homes for the poor in Harlan county. Joe also served as the county judge executive for 4 terms improving the environment, access to clean water, and shelter for the poor across Harlan county. We feel so blessed to have such an amazing contractor and missionary family on our team as true examples of living a life of service and joy as they continue to build relationships with the poor in their days of retirement and do what they can to be of service to those in need.
Ryan & Stephany Head
Ryan & Stephany HeadSite Coordinators-South Texas
Hey, y’all Ryan, and Stephany here! We are happily married and living in Texas! Ryan works as an inspector/investigator for our local fire department, and I am a Photographer. We are so excited about the journey that the lord is constantly taking us on. We are coordinators for our junior high youth nights, and constantly seeking to grow deeper in the will that God has for our life. The lord has called us time and time again to serve him and his people. Ryan started serving with CMT in 2012 as a youth on a mission trip and I started in 2018 as a Missionary and served for two summers. We felt the calling to serve as a couple in 2019 and 2020 in South Texas for spring break and then felt the calling to coordinate. The lord has constantly called us deeper in his love through the people we encounter there. We can’t wait to see you there!

Favorite Saint:
Ryan: St. Joesph and St. Florian
Stephany: St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Joan of Arc

Favorite Scripture/Quote:
Ryan: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You, are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4
Stephany: “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” ― St. Catherine of Siena
Mykelle Laws
Mykelle LawsSite Coordinator-New Orleans & Baton Rouge
Hello! My name is Mykelle Laws, wife of a great guy and mother of 4 active young adults. I graduated from Virginia Tech in 1990 with a BS in Biochemistry and SWOSU in 1996 with an assoc. in Physical Therapy. Our family has moved around the United States with the Navy and United Airlines and have since settled in Culpeper, VA. I have been active in my community (Travel Soccer) and my church (confirmation catechist, altar society, and office help) while homeschooling my children and now participate with several non-profit organizations like our diocesan WorkCamp annual mission trip, Rotary Youth Exchange and Souls in Harmony. I am excited to join the Catholic Mission Trips team in facilitating “experiences of a lifetime” through mission!

ADMINISTRATION

Michelle Perez
Michelle PerezExecutive Director
My name is Michelle Perez and I am grateful for the ability to walk with the mission groups and our team on their spiritual journey. Every year we see the Holy Spirit working so powerfully in the hearts of the young people who serve and God pouring His graces into the missionaries who devote their summers to leading mission trips. God has blessed me and my husband with 4 beautiful children on earth! We are a mission family and strive to bring God’s love to everyone we meet. I am excited to help CMT grow while remaining faithful to our mission of helping faithful Catholics fulfill their call to serve the poor. Please join us in prayer, service, and support!
<strong>Megan Yedkois</strong>
Megan YedkoisDirector of Missions
Hello there! I’m Megan and my last name rhymes with turquoise:) My favorite thing about living in Florida is beholding all the glorious sunrises & sunsets. When I was 17, I went on my first domestic mission trip with CMT where I experienced the thrill of mission. Throughout my life I’ve had a deep devotion for at-risk youth, pro-life, homeless, and prison ministry. I have gone on several foreign mission trips to Honduras, Haiti, Mexico, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico. I feel so blessed to serve as the Director of Missions for CMT, to provide the opportunity for young people to give generously of themselves and witness hearts become stirred with desire to live a life for others. In his exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis said that “There is no greater joy than coming home at the end of the day with a heart filled with names, faces, and stories.” I attest to this joy as the Father shows me something more glorious than a sunrise is within each person as each reveals a unique facet of Christ. I pray that all who join us on mission experience the deep personal love of Christ descend upon them and radiate out to those we serve.
Jen Liz Hamilton
Jen Liz HamiltonAdministrative Assistant
My name is Jen Liz and I am the administrative assistant at CMT. I have an extensive background in serving others through prayer and service as a disciple of Christ! I’ve been on missions in South Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Dominican Republic, US Virgin Islands, and many more. My favorite aspect of serving is the fulfillment of purpose. I hope to continue to lead others towards Christ through my efforts as a member of Catholic Mission Trips, Inc. and a humble disciple of Christ. May God continue to use me for His glory and help make me a channel of His peace.