Title: Chapter Leader
Mission Center: Minnesota
Chapter: University of St. Thomas
Joe was born and raised in Shoreview, MN. His family, having deeply adventurous spirits, moved once in Joe's lifetime: to their cabin "up north" (a 5-minute drive from their previous home), where they still reside today. In lieu of the deeply ingrained adventure-seeking bug inherited from his family, Joe followed his older brother's footsteps to attend the University of Saint Thomas, in Saint Paul, MN (a 15-minute drive). The greatest adventure, though, was the many years spent growing up in the seven-membered Masek family, of which stories are told and retold by family and friends. Have you heard about the time 7-year old Joe filled up the family van with water to make a swimming pool? Or the squirrel he trapped in that same van because he wanted a pet? Or maybe you would enjoy the one in which, while looking for frogs, Joe filled up their window well with 100 gallons of water from the outdoor hose and unbeknownst to him, sent that 100 gallons into the basement of their house? Most fortunately, Joe has learned many lessons about car and home maintenance, as well as overall common sense since those days. However, much of his faith conversion did not begin until he began to encounter Christ in college.
Spending four years pursuing a degree in Neuroscience with a minor in Catholic Studies at UST offered many opportunities for Joe to experience the Lord in a new and freeing way through thriving faith communities on campus. After returning from a semester abroad in Rome, where he got to know his now-wife Krista, he found the Saint Paul's Outreach community to be a place of healing, freedom and ever-deepening peace and joy. Burdened by the reality that this new relationship with Jesus Christ had transformed his life in so many ways, and seeing the emptiness that existed in so many others, Joe began feeling called to return to the University of Saint Thomas as a missionary with Saint Paul's Outreach to give testimony to God's mercy and love.
Joe and Krista reside in the Merriam Park neighborhood of Saint Paul, MN and while Joe is working with Saint Paul's Outreach, Krista works as a Family Advocate at Sharing and Caring Hands. They are eagerly anticipating the arrival of their first child, expected early this August, 2016.
Mission Center: National Headquarters
Sofia grew up with many siblings in the suburban town of Kissimmee, Florida (pronounced kis-SIM-mee) where the locals are Latin and the climate is Cuban. After a very serious dabble in the performing arts in middle and high school, Sofia applied for (just) one state university. Thankfully, her generous and merciful God paved a way for that decision to bless her for the rest of her life. In the fall of 2010, Sofia entered college at the ripened age of 17 and the medically unexplainable height of 5’1” to pursue a degree in Biology & Secondary Education. (Just kidding, her parents fed her cuban coffee as an infant; we know exactly why she stopped growing!)
Amidst a wildly successful career as a professional student at Florida State University (FSU), Sofia encountered Jesus through relationships with students and staff members at the Catholic Student Union. After graduating from FSU, Sofia decided to set apart a season of her life to respond generously to God’s call to proclaim the Gospel. In the end, she attributes her gift of joy and conversion to the Lord’s relentless pursuit of her, while recognizing the vehicle He used to bring her there was the witness of the brothers of the Brotherhood of Hope and the life shared by the men and women of Saint Paul’s Outreach.
After two blessed years serving at the University of Central Florida (read: Disney World), Sofia responded generously to the call to evangelize the good people of Minnesota, and two years later, transferred to National Headquarters. With good humor, she loves generously and lives boldly for the sake of bringing the Catholic Faith Alive on Campus.