Matthew Colle

Matthew ColleParish: Immaculate Conception Parish, Luxemburg

Birth Date: October 21

Seminary: St. Francis de Sales Seminary

Seminary Address:
3257 South Lake Drive
St. Francis WI 53235-3702

Pre-Theology II

Email

Patron: St. Pope John Paul II

 
 

What do you want on your pizza?

Sausage, mushroom, and onion. The most important ingredient on pizza is the sauce. You can get by with okay crust and cheese, but the pizza sauce must be good.

Tell us about a great experience that you had during the summer of 2017.

I spent the summer in Omaha NE at Creighton University along with 175 seminarians from across the country. During the second week of the spiritual formation program we had an eight-day silent retreat. The retreat was in the middle of a busy Creighton campus that made avoiding conversation difficult at times. But there was more to the silent retreat than simply not talking. It was about silencing our hearts and minds in order to hear God’s voice. By encountering Christ through meditation and contemplation of the Gospels each day, I experienced God the Father's healing love in a profound way.

How would you describe the priesthood to a non-believer?

I would need to know my audience. Then I could speak to the non-believer of a priestly identity that he or she most relates to. If the non-believer was a farmer, I would tell him or her that the priest is a shepherd and his people are the sheep. Just as sheep desire green pasture, so too does the faithful long to know, love, and serve their Creator and Redeemer. The priest, like a shepherd, must feed his flock with spiritual food. Such spiritual food includes the body and blood of our Lord in the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the word of God in Sacred Scripture. The priest must also protect his people from sin and evil just as a shepherd defends his flock from disease and predators. The priest does this by the grace of God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and by speaking the truth and beauty of the Gospel. If the non-believer is not a farmer, it may be easier to describe the priest as a spiritual father or physician.

Divine Providence is God's active protection and guidance in our lives. How have you seen Providence in your life?

I grew up on a beef cattle and sheep farm. Between me and my two brothers I was always considered the "sheep person" or shepherd. At the time, I certainly was not considering being a shepherd of souls. In Catholic grade school, my pastor told me, "Matthew, I think you are going to be a priest." I remember thinking, "I do not think so." I had my own plans which took me to college to study animal science. There I recall the deacon at the University of Wisconsin River Falls Newman Center saying, "I read this book saying that middle children should never get married." I am a middle child. The deacon is also a middle child happily married with children and grandchildren. I think he proved the book's thesis wrong. Still, I remember him telling me that at a time when the priesthood was the last thing on my mind. It was so far off my radar that after finishing my bachelor’s degree I pursued a master's degree in meat science. However, after joining seminary, a classmate from UW-River Falls told me, "I knew you were going to be a priest when we were at River Falls." I had no idea, and I still do not know what God has planned for me. I put all my trust in God's providential care. After all, He has guided me safe thus far.

Share an interesting fact about your middle school years.

I won an ice cream eating contest at the Kewaunee County Fair. The key to eating ice cream really fast is to keep the ice cream from touching your teeth, which causes a crippling pain. If you do not have dentures, use your lips to curl around your teeth. Practice.

What parish and diocesan movements have inspired you as a disciple?

Altar serving from third to twelfth grade at my home parish in Luxemburg inspired me the most as a disciple. I especially remember serving for Good Friday service and venerating the Cross. In addition, I still remember the cassock and surplice vesting prayers. Along with serving, acting out the Passion with my fifth and sixth grade class left an impression on my faith. I was Peter both years.

Who are your teams?

Badgers, Phoenix, Idaho Vandals, and Bucks basketball. Packers, Badgers, and Vandals football. Brewers baseball.

What is your favorite day on the Liturgical Calendar?

Good Friday.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?

St. Pope John Paul II.