Year Joined MKLM: 1995
Country: Kenya and Sudan
City: Bura Tana, Kenya and Lotimor & Nanyangachor, Sudan
Focus: Primarily Catechetical education, pastoral care, social work, community organizing projects, and assisting in whatever way I could in the various mission communities in which I lived.
Marty Roers was born and raised in Brooklyn Park (North Minneapolis area) and earned his B.A. in Biology from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN. After studying one semester in the Maryknoll School of Theology’s Justice and Peace Program, he went to Central America as a volunteer in the countries of El Salvador and Guatemala.
He later joined the Maryknoll Mission Association of the Faithful and served seven years in East Africa. Basically, Marty was able to work with community members in both the pastoral area along with social programs including the empowerment of communities and individuals through development projects, community organizing sessions, and self-help activities. He primarily worked and served among the abandoned mixed ethnic and faith communities of a failed World Bank experiment in North-eastern Kenya and later with the nomadic communities of war-torn Southern Sudan. Marty assisted with teaching basic economic self-sufficiency through basic business skills, sustainable agriculture, and small income generating projects. He especially loved working with catechetical programs. Throughout his time in East Africa, Marty worked with fellow missionaries and local community members on various projects ranging from wells, water dams, latrines, clinics, schools, after-school youth athletic programs, and community workshops. He facilitated food relief distribution, organized work assistance programs, and provided an array of emergency services including transporting the sick to clinics and hospitals. In the process, Marty accompanied and befriended many HIV/AIDS positive individuals and grieved their passings.
Upon return to the U.S., Marty worked with the Diocese of St. Cloud’s Mission Office as a mission educator. He eventually went back to school to earn his M.Div. from the University of Notre Dame. Marty also worked as a minister to college students at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA where he engaged students in direct service and social justice issues. Over four years, he traveled with nearly 1,000 students on monthly service trips to Tijuana, Mexico and on special immersion trips to places including El Salvador and India. Each week, he also worked on varied social justice outreach programs including a weekly lunch program to homeless individuals and day labors.
Marty is currently the Community Education, Engagement, and Leadership Manager at Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In his spare time, Marty enjoys gardening, traveling, and volunteering as a chaplain at juvenile centers. Foreign missionary service continues to hold a very special place in Marty’s heart, and Marty is very excited to be assisting as one of the FAB trip leaders.