We are thrilled to welcome a new school chaplain, Fr. Matthew Maxwell, to our Dons community this year!
Fr. Matthew is originally from San Diego. He grew up in the Poway area and was homeschooled for most of his K-12 school years. Much of his childhood was spent with a group of about 100 other local Catholic homeschooled children.
Fr. Matthew began discerning the priesthood at the age of 14. He shares, “At that age, I started praying on a daily basis and realized that God was asking something of me.” Fr. Matthew attributes this increase in dedication to prayer to his homeschool group, as they went to daily Mass and practiced the faith together.
When it came time to go off to college, Fr. Matthew selected Thomas Aquinas College in Ventura County, CA, where he studied liberal arts. After graduating from college, Fr. Matthew wanted to continue discerning his vocation to ensure he was doing God’s will before entering the seminary. He spent two years working as a computer programmer and then at a construction company during this time.
As Fr. Matthew continued to discern, he was especially drawn to the Miles Christi Religious Order. He was drawn to this order due to the total consecration to God through poverty, chastity and obedience. He adds, “I was particularly interested in their mission of following the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola.” The Miles Christi priests preach St. Ignatius’ spiritual exercises and teach his methods of meditation and spirituality through retreats.
At age 24, sure of God’s plan for him to enter the priesthood, Fr. Matthew entered the seminary at St. Joseph House, a Miles Christi house of formation outside of Detroit, Michigan. Father spent two years there and then moved to the Miles Christi’s house of formation in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 4.5 years for his novitiate, where he studied philosophy. Fr. Matthew moved again, but this time across the seas to Rome, Italy, where he studied theology for three years. He was ordained a deacon while in Rome and then eventually moved back to Detroit for his ordination on November 21, 2020. Father remained in Detroit and worked in local ministry before he was called on to move back to his hometown.
Fr. Matthew moved to San Diego just last month, in August of 2022. His ministry includes working at Cathedral Catholic, Mater Dei Catholic and the SDSU Newman Center, as well as other schools as needed.
At Cathedral Catholic, Father is most excited about his work with Dons for Life, which has been a great experience for him thus far. Fr. Matthew is enjoying his time around campus and says, “I am looking forward to getting to know students and helping them on their path towards God.”
Fr. Matthew shared a few favorites with us:
- Favorite local restaurant: The Green Fly (now known as Las Cuatro Milpas) in Barrio Logan
- Favorite church in the world: Sant’Antonio dei Portoghesi in Rome
- Favorite book: the Bible of course, but also Sherlock Holmes
- Favorite band: Nickel Creek
- Favorite dessert: tiramisu
- Favorite ice cream: rainbow sherbet
- Favorite memory: serving as an altar server twice for Pope Francis
The above comes from a Sept. 13 release from Cathedral Catholic high school.