Melissa is originally a small-town girl from Tolleson, Arizona. (Just west of Phoenix. Blink and you’ll miss it.) She is an alumna of Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, (an all-women’s Catholic College across the street from The University of Notre Dame) where she majored in Theatre and sang in the Women’s Choir. While working in a parish in South Bend, Indiana, she met and fell in love with her husband David after meeting him through friends at Notre Dame. She turned down admission to Notre Dame Law School and married David in 2006. They have two beautiful children, a son and a daughter, who have given her quite a few new gray hairs. Melissa has been working as a Parish Administrative Assistant off and on since 1998 and has worked in three different parishes in three different states (Blessed Sacrament, Tolleson, AZ; Saint Therese Little Flower Catholic Church, South Bend, IN; and OLPH). She has been at OLPH since 2009 and currently shares the Administrative Assistant job with Crissy Reid. She is a member of St. Augustine’s in Elkridge, the parish where her husband grew up.
What do you love best about OLPH?
I love the community’s devotion to Christ and to one another. People genuinely care for and love each other here. There is a warmth here that radiates out and welcomes others. It’s part of what brought me to this job. There are so many beautiful and friendly souls here.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m a mom with two kids under the age of 5. I don’t have any free time. All joking aside, I love to cook and bake, and when I’m not searching for new recipes to try or experimenting in the kitchen, I am a complete genealogy and history nerd. I’m fascinated by family research and family trees. I’ve been at this for over 15 years. I’ve traced my husband’s family back to England in the 1300s and my own family line to a freed slave in 1600’s Mexico (Nueva Vizcaya–New Spain). There are close to 3000 people in the combined family trees and it’s constantly growing. I also do genealogy look-ups for friends.
What’s something quirky about you?
I’m incredibly good at digging up information (documents, addresses, names, just about anything) on people and events, which goes hand in hand with all of the genealogy I do. One of my nicknames is “Garcia” (for a character in Criminal Minds, an FBI Technical Analyst). I’ve been told many times that I should just become a private investigator or some sort of analyst. If that’s not really quirky enough for you: I’m a human homing pigeon with a fantastic sense of direction (If I’ve been somewhere once, I can find my way back). I’ve never been beaten at Trivial Pursuit, and I also collect anything and everything Shakespearean. I also may have a slight obsession with the TV show, Doctor Who. Don’t judge me.