This is Missy’s 6th summer volunteering at SteubySTL. Most of these summers involved helping the Social Media crew led by Paul Masek, who is her brother-in-law! He gives her a new responsibility every summer. She said, “Either he doesn’t like what I did the summer before, or he just likes to mix things up. I have no clue!” (spoiler alert: she’s just really good at a lot of things).

She has written for the blog, run the SnapChat stories, and this year she has been updating the Instagram Feed and helping her sister Lisa Masek take pictures on week two. So, if you see her lugging around a big camera, strike a pose – you could be on Instagram!

When Missy is not at the conference, she enjoys spending time with her family. She has been married to her husband, Ted, for 26 years and together they have four children. She met Ted when she was 16 and they both worked at McDonald’s. She said if social media was around in the 80’s, it would have been much safer for her. Here’s the story. After she met Ted, she had looked him up in this big book called the White Pages, which required you to know the father’s name of the household (she didn’t). With only a 3-week-old drivers license, she crashed into a parked truck in the street and totaled their full-size van. She walked away with only 12 stitches in her tongue. It didn’t end up being his house (there are a lot of Naumann’s), but she did end up winning the prize! Her dad always said that Ted was worth the van.

Besides spending time with the family, Missy works for a social service agency in St. Charles called Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service. She is responsible for reporting to their granters, reporting outcomes to staff and stakeholders, and leading the effort in maintaining their accreditation. For fun she loves going to the movies, photography, digital scrapbooking, reading books, and trolling Instagram for home décor ideas.

She has many good and funny memories of Steuby conferences in the past. Like when her husband and older son went their first year, Ted took their camera and left it in the arena along with all the pictures from that summer. Or, when he had to drive their younger son all the way home to St. Louis because he couldn’t handle the loud music and the constant cheering (it’s not for everyone). He then had to come back to Springfield to help drive kids home. But her favorite was when she got assigned to a room with another volunteer she just met and there was only one twin bed in the room. Neither of them felt like sleeping on the floor so they agreed to share the twin. “We became fast friends when she saw the Fr. Jacques Philippe books I brought and said she loved him, too!”

Missy said her favorite part of the Steubenville Conference is the freedom that sweeps over the arena on day 2 (often after reconciliation). “From that moment through the rest of the weekend, the guards come down and fear melts away…the Holy Spirit takes over. That freedom can make you giddy…and very few are immune to it,” she said.

What is Missy’s advice for keeping the spirit of Steuby year round? “I tend to overcomplicate things with all the ideas of what I think I should do and then I fail and give up. I have found the best way to keep the spirit of Steuby alive is to start with one simple commitment that you practice daily, like offering up your day in the morning. It just sets the tone for the whole day. My favorite prayer to say in the morning is the Suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola. It says it all to me and puts me in the mode of total surrender…that God can do whatever He wants with my day.”

Written by Paul Masek
Paul Masek is Lisa's husband and is honored to be the father of four practically perfect kids ~ Jacob, Audrey, Kyle, & Dominic. For fun, Paul loves hunting, fishing, eating, hanging out with the fam, and impersonating Jon Lovitz. He claims to be the funniest person he has ever met - and his wife says he hasn't met enough people - because she is funnier. He also loves stirring it up and is the director of the REAP Team for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. You can find out more about Paul on Twitter & Insta - @clasekmasek