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.
Is this some sort of joke? his fave stuff? What is this. Tiger Beat?
Such is youth ministry in the church today.
Let me guess, you’re a boomer like me, correct? It’s common to ask some questions of someone in order to get to know something more about them, especially with millenials and GenZers. The Archdiocese of the Military does so when introducing their seminarians in their magazine. Their diocese is solid and have more young adults per capita than any other (understandably, since they’re the military) and AB Broglio is solid. I don’t care that Fr. Matthew likes tiramisu and I’m relieved his favorite book is the Bible. (Can the latter be said of all clergy?) Let’s commend and pray for Fr. Matthew who appears to be a good, solid priest. And, not focus on his faves (about which he was almost certainly asked and didn’t bring up himself). Who knows, maybe some nominal Catholic likes Sherlock Holmes and that might be the basis for starting a conversation with a priest. Conversations should always ultimately point to Jesus, as Our Lady does, but they have to start somewhere. If it’s rainbow sherbet, enjoy it and keep speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). The joy of the Lord in our lives will attract more people than an overly critical spirit. Your heart is in the right place, yet, might you see and accentuate the positive for the sake of others?
Yikes. Just more trivialize and femininizing in the Church. Are young people or anyone attracted to Christ by these factoids and excuses?
It is shocking, these kinds of babyish questions, asked of this excellent priest. I think mature Catholic readers would ask him all about his travels, interesting experiences, his foreign language fluency, his fabulous seminary education, his views on the Church, favorite Catholic books, favorite saints, whether he is interested in the Tridentine Latin Mass, details of the Miles Christi religious order, etc. And for trivia– does he have a favorite sports team? Maybe soccer? That’s all. Oh– one thing more– I would ask him all about his family– mom, dad, siblings, and how his priesthood in Miles Christi might have affected them– has it deepened their faith? Where do his parents live– and what parish do they belong to– and how about his grown siblings?? Etc. Did any other kids he grew up with, in his group of 100 homeschooled Catholic kids, become a priest or a nun?
Hopefully, he’s not interested in the outdated TLM. Vatican II and Pope Francis are doing away with it.
hopefully, no pope is going to “do away” with the beautiful, authentitic, holy Tridentine Latin Mass. This ancient, timeless Mass can never be “outdated”– no such thing. Vatican II certainly did NOT ignorantly call for abolition of this Mass. Our Archbishop has been very busy, training many priests to
say this Mass. Many priests are very interested to learn it. It is very important in our Church. A great many young Catholic married couples raising families, desire to attend the holy Tridentine Latin Mass. Excellent! Many will probably raise sons who will become priests, and desire to learn this excellent, holy Mass. Modernism is a temporary thing of our times, highly destructive, and must be handled carefully. Modernism is not of God, it is anti-religion, and secular in nature.
It is just the bio page from the high school.
Freak out over nothing!
I think you said it best.
As noted above, maybe a conversation is started that wouldn’t happen otherwise.
How many are attracted by your negativity and criticisms of the Church? I’d bet more are attracted by Father and Miles Christi than you and your approach.
Attract them in whatever way you feel called to that’s effective. You don’t need to criticize others who are doing that differently.
Don’t over-react. Good criticism is necessary, and can be very helpful and positive, and help us to improve.
They are already at a Catholic High School.
Fr. Matthew is an amazing, solidly orthodox Catholic priest. His meditations/talks are very inspirational, as well is his Spiritual Direction.
The Miles Christi Religious Order is doctrinally solid and true to the Magisterium.
He is young and works well with all age groups. I pray that many more men like him answer God’s call to the priesthood!