Meet Father Matthew!
January 8, 2021 | Miles Christi
Friends of Miles Christi,
Much has happened and is continuing to happen in our world. And though 2020 (and now 2021) has brought much turmoil and darkness, it also brought much good and light. One of the beautiful “things” from 2020 that you may recall was the ordination of Father Matthew Maxwell, Miles Christi’s first ever American to be ordained to our religious community.
In order to better introduce you to Father Matthew, below you will find a little Q&A that our team put together for you! We hope that this Q&A serves as an intro to help you to get to know Father Matthew a bit more, especially during this day and age of social distancing when in-person meetings are limited.
Lastly, although we did broadcast live Father Matthew’s ordination, as well as shared pictures from the beautiful day, we have created a new, special video to highlight the beauty of that day. Click here to watch! We hope that you enjoy it and that it rekindles in your heart an awakening to the beauty that is our faith. Our Lord’s work is so beautiful!
INTERVIEW WITH FR. MATTHEW:
- Where are you from? San Diego, CA
- When did you feel the calling to become a priest? I first felt a desire to become a priest when I was about 14. Of course, from there it took a lot of time, prayer, and direction in order to mature and enter religious life.
- What was your initial thought when you realized your calling? I actually assumed the idea quite easily. From about that age, I just sort of took it for granted that I would be a priest when I grew up.
- What would you say to any young man who may feel this sacred calling? Besides obviously living a serious life of prayer and the sacraments as well as spiritual direction, I would encourage them to be very generous with their lives! If God is calling, I now understand that the best thing you can do is to offer yourself completely to Him to let Him do what He will with your life. We shouldn’t skimp on God!
- What would you say to young women who may feel the calling to religious life? My advice would be exactly the same: generosity with one’s whole life! It’s not worth it to be attached to our own ideas, plans and dreams. God’s are way better!
- What would you say to young men and women who are striving for holiness in a world where holiness is mocked? We know by faith that we are called to holiness. God wants us holy and that is the only way that we will find true happiness. The world that mocks holiness is short-sighted and will lead us nowhere except to unhappiness and distress. Fortitude is the cardinal virtue that gives us the strength to confront and endure life’s difficulties courageously. This virtue is desperately needed today in order to face the great challenge of living in a world that derides living according to God’s will.
- Is there any saint who you consider a “go-to friend” and why this saint? Quite a few. Of course, Our Lady and St. Joseph are first on my list! Also, St. John Bosco and St. Dominic Savio, who is my confirmation saint, have inspired me from the beginning of my life of prayer. And I would say that as I studied Theology in Rome, I learned to run to St. Peter and St. Paul as protectors, particularly in my clerical and apostolic work.
- Are you reading any books and if so, which do you recommend? Well, throughout my formation there have been many great books that I have read, thanks be to God. I think one that always sticks with me is Dom Chautard’s book, “The Soul of the Apostolate”. It demonstrates wonderfully the importance of having an interior life, a life of prayer, and that only with that foundation can we then give ourselves to others in apostolic work. Otherwise there is a real risk of working just for the sake of work, or of working in order to please oneself or others, instead of for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
- What’s your favorite Bible verse and why? That isn’t a fair question! I can mention one of my favorites right now, which is Hebrews 10:5-7 (ok, it’s 3 verses). There it talks about how the greatest sacrifice is submitting our will to God’s will and it ties it in a little later with the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. It is a beautiful reflection for me as I have started celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass a little over a month ago. The priest offers Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary to God and at the same time we all offer our own minds, hearts and wills to God partaking in His offering!
- If you were given a platform to speak to the entire world at one time, what would you say?I would like to shout to all that God loves us! So much! And His love is real and concrete, here and now! It all comes down to that. So many people live without hope, or perhaps without a real desire or effort for taking steps forward in their relationship with God. But if they only knew what it means that God is love, that He cares for each and every one of us, that He has us in mind and really wants what is best for us, then all the desperation would be turned to hope, all those who walk aimlessly through life would find meaning, and all those who resist His calling to a deeper relationship would run toward Him no matter what it costs. God’s love is what is needed, and it is capable of transforming the world!
Bonus: What’s one funny, quirky fact about you? I don’t know why, but ever since I was little, I have had a huge weakness for rainbow sherbet. When we would go get ice cream, if I saw rainbow sherbet, I couldn’t choose a different flavor. However, I like to think that since studying in Italy my taste for ice cream has been refined…