Fr. Matthew Rappl

Fr Matthew RapplParish: St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish, Neenah

Birthday: March 23


St. Raphael the Archangel Parish
830 S Westhaven Dr
Oshkosh WI 54904-7977



Patron: St. John Paul II

Bishop David Ricken ordained Matthew Rappl to the priesthood at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 1, 2017, in St. Mary Church, 4805 Sportsman Dr, De Pere WI 54115. Ordination Photos from The Compass: CLICK HERE

Proclaim the Good News:
Truly, this was the Son of God.

Tell us about a great experience that you had during the summer of 2016.
This summer I ministered in Wautoma at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Growing up, I had always wondered what life in the countryside would be like because my upbringing was closer to the city. I enjoyed being able to watch the beautiful sunsets on the wooden deck overlooking the corn fields and being able to see the Milky Way and the bright stars dotting the night sky without the light pollution. The neighbor’s Border Collie, Lacy, became my adopted dog for the summer, which gave me company. Most of all, I simply enjoyed serving the people of the parish including the wonderful migrant community.

When did your commitment to the Catholic Faith grow deeper?
My commitment to the Catholic Faith grew deeper as I was just starting my junior year of high school. I went on a retreat before the school year started in the fall. On that retreat, God showed me that the Catholic Faith is something that is truly beautiful and attractive. What made it most attractive to me was that it was not just ideas and concepts anymore. I saw the Faith come alive in people who were my own age. I had a great love for the outdoors growing up and being able to spend time with people in prayer while on Chambers Island in Lake Michigan [the Bay of Green Bay] was a profound blessing. The natural beauty of the island combined with the reality that it was about a 45-minute ferry ride back to the mainland made me realize that I was in a place that was really "set apart." This was a place God wanted to use in order to draw me away from the distractions of my life to encounter Him in the silence of prayer and adoration. Coming back from the retreat I had to make a choice if I was going to follow the Lord more intentionally. I was blessed to have had the support to be able to do that.

Offer us a few words about one Gift of the Holy Spirit and how it has helped you.
The gift of Fortitude, or Courage, is one that is required to be a faithful disciple in our age. The Holy Spirit gave me this gift in a particular way by giving me the strength to enter seminary and make the decision to pursue His will for my life in a more dedicated manner. The prospect of leaving my home state right out of high school and not attending the university that I otherwise would have attended required an act of trust on my part. I have since learned that God repays our acts of generosity and trust more than we can imagine.

Share an interesting fact about your high school years.
Every summer my family and I would travel to northern Wisconsin for two weeks of vacation that always included swimming, biking, hiking, campfires, ice cream runs, boating, and the most delicious Dutch oven dessert cobblers. I always enjoyed being with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents for these weeks of vacation. They were the best days of summer vacation.

Other than prayer, what is your fuel?
Water is my fuel. I cannot live without it.

As a priest, God willing, where would you most like to celebrate the Holy Mass?
Many of my Polish ancestors were founding members of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel in Fancher [Amherst, WI], an absolutely stunning church with a beautiful high altar and stained glass windows that are second to none.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
Please pray to St. John Paul II on my behalf. Not only is his intercession powerful, but he has served for me as a model of personal prayer, and of a constant desire to pour oneself out for the people we serve.