From 1976-78, he was the Social Ministries Coordinator for Little Flower Parish in South Bend, Indiana, and also worked with the Holy Cross Justice and Peace Commission at Notre Dame. From 1978-82, Sam was a Holy Cross Associate in Chile. Before joining Maryknoll Lay Missioners in 1985, he was a Program Director for Catholic Social Services in the diocese of Phoenix, Arizona. Continuing his commitment to outreach of the Catholic Church, Sam worked in rural ministry and social development projects in rural southern Chile, serving as Director of Social Services of the Diocese of Linares, Chile, from 1987-91.
In 1991, Sam returned to the United States to serve as the director of what was then the Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers Lay Mission Program. During his tenure, the “program” transitioned to the current autonomous entity, Maryknoll Lay Missioners, and Sam served on its first leadership team. In 1996, Sam and his family returned to Chile and the diocese of Linares, where he resumed his work in social development programs and education, and also served as MKLM’s Chile Regional Coordinator and MKLM’s Latin America Co-Area Coordinator.
In 2004, Sam and his wife, Cecilia, also a Maryknoll Lay Missioner, returned to the United States, where he served as MKLM’s U.S. East Regional Coordinator and in MKLM’s Advancement Department. Sam was named Executive Director of Maryknoll Lay Missioners in 2008.
Sam graduated from Kansas State with a B.S. in Social Work and a minor in Sociology. He also attended graduate classes in Theology Studies at Notre Dame University.
In 2000, Marj joined a strong MKLM team in Kitale, Kenya, doing Home Based Care and serving as a medical consultant and practitioner for the Kitale AIDS Program and, in 2002, she became Regional Coordinator for the Kenya / Zimbabwe Region. Marj transitioned out of contracted membership with MKLM in 2007 to take care of her elderly parents in Spokane, Washington where she worked as a clinical Physician Assistant. In 2012, she was honored by her alma mater, Gonzaga University, with the DeSmet Medal for Christian Service and gave the Commencement Address to the graduate students.
On August 1, 2016, Marj assumed the position of Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ Director of Missions and is based in MKLM headquarters in Ossining, New York. As Director of Missions, Marj oversees lay missioners and their ministries around the world. She works closely with the overseas Regional Directors and U.S. Operations team to achieve organizational goals and ensure lay missioners have the support and resources they need to minister to those they serve. Marj is a member of the MKLM management team.
Marj is originally from Nampa, Idaho. She graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies and Communications, and completed a Master’s Degree in Education. Marj taught religion and journalism at Gonzaga Preparatory School, and coordinated the student community service program. In 1978, she headed to New York City to join the Catholic Worker community, and had the privilege to know and be in community with Dorothy Day. In 1986, Marj attained a degree as a Physician Assistant and worked at Bellevue Hospital in New York City in a clinic for homeless people.
Most recently, Joanne lived in the mega-city of Sao Paulo and worked at the Human Rights and Popular Education Center. Her primary ministry was in training educators and leaders of community and church groups in violence prevention and restorative justice practices in order to resolve interpersonal and group conflicts. Joanne and her teammates traveled throughout Brazil to teach courses on anger management, forgiveness, non-violent communication, reconciliation, mediation of conflicts and restorative justice. Joanne was the Coordinator of the Southeast region of Brazil with the Forgiveness and Restorative Justice Program. She has made presentations on Restorative Justice at conferences in Northern Ireland, the United States, Australia and Brazil, and presented her work on ESPERE – Conflict Peacemaking at the International Congress of World Religions in Australia in 2009. She has co-authored a book on the themes of Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Restorative Justice that is being used in working with children and adolescents in social-educational centers in Sao Paulo.
As Mission Services Director, Joanne works with and supervises staff members who have the following responsibilities: Recruitment, Admissions, Training & Educational Programs, and Friends Across Borders. MSD staff members are responsible for selection and formation of new Maryknoll Lay Missioners. In addition, MSD provides services to lay missioners in the field as well as those returning to the U.S. in order to help them integrate their mission experience into the broader context of their lives in a healthy way. Joanne helps to oversee planning, implementation and evaluation of MSD programs.
Joanne promotes and participates in collaborative efforts within Maryknoll and with other overseas sending groups. Her experience as a missioner and her extensive time in South America contribute greatly to the work of the Mission Service Department.
Joanne is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She worked for many years as a junior-high school teacher and school principal in Philadelphia and Washington, DC. She has done volunteer work at women’s shelters, with literacy programs and in educational groups, and also worked with RCIA programs and participated as a member of Parish Councils.