Matthew Colle

Matthew ColleParish: Immaculate Conception Parish, Luxemburg

Birth Date: October 21

Seminary: Pontifical North American College

Seminary Address:
00120 Vatican City, V
Vatican City State, Europe

Mailing Address: N6260 Hawthorne Rd., Luxemburg, WI 54115-8228

Theology I

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Patron: St. Philip Neri

 
 

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Neither. I am a cow person. Growing up on a farm, my brothers and I spent time with our cattle getting them ready to show at the fair.

Tell us about a great experience you had during the summer of 2018.

This summer, my pastor Fr. Milton Suess had a celebration for his 38th and final year as pastor of St. Mary’s in Luxemburg. I was able to serve for the Mass that day. There was one thing that really stood out in Fr. Suess’ homily. In his 55 years of priesthood, he has baptized well over one thousand people. Before entering seminary, I read a book on discerning a call to the priesthood that was titled, “To Save a Thousand Souls.” Fr. Suess is proof that priests, quite literally, save a thousand souls.

Who influenced you the most to think about priesthood?

When I was in grade school, Fr. Suess mentioned the idea of me being a priest. However, at that time, I never yielded to the thought that I could actually be a priest, nor did I want to be a priest. I just assumed I had the same vocation as my parents. These thoughts prevailed throughout my first five years of college. The whole time, Fr. Suess was praying for me. I know this because he would send me a birthday card every year saying that he was praying for me. In addition to Fr. Suess, my priest at the University of Idaho, Fr. Caleb Vogel, played a large role in helping me discover and pursue my call to holiness as an adult. He met me where I was at by playing frisbee and grilling out with me and the other Catholic students on campus. He also led retreats and Bible studies. It was during a Sunday Mass with Fr. Vogel when I realized that maybe I was being called to be a priest.

Pope Francis recently wrote a document entitled Gaudete et Exsultate on holiness. What does holiness look like to you?

Holiness is to desire the will of God. It is to live out the saying of St. Philip Neri, “Preferisco Paradiso” (“I prefer heaven”). It simply requires receiving the love of God into our hearts and allowing that love to overflow as charity to our neighbor. I can remember receiving a strong desire to follow the will of God when I was at the University of Idaho. It happened during exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Augustine Catholic Church next to campus. At the time, I did not know the Lord was calling me to be a priest, but I knew He was calling me to leave my selfish ambitions behind and follow Him. Looking back, I attribute the discovery of my call to holiness in large part to Fr. Vogel and the Catholic students at the University of Idaho. It seems to me that cultivating a life of holiness requires learning from the lives of the saints such as Philip Neri or wise holy people like Fr. Vogel, but also by growing in holiness alongside friends, classmates, or coworkers who desire to do God’s will. What does holiness look like in St. Philip Neri and Fr. Vogel? Joy, love, and patience.

What is your dream car?

AI have never had a dream car, but I do like my blue 2011 Prius because it is good on gas and reliable. However, I have to say that a 4020 John Deere tractor is still my favorite ride.

What aspect of your home parish is the most meaningful for you?

The priest! At Fr. Suess’ celebration luncheon, Fr. Mark Mleziva said it best. He shared a story about how the parents in Manitowoc commented on how good it was that he spent so much time with their kids at school and on the playground. Fr. Mark said he learned this ministry of presence from Fr. Suess. Fr. Suess was always around! Also, my home parish is blessed to have Fr. Daniel Schuster as its new pastor.