Matthew Faucett

Matthew Faucett

 

Parish: Holy Family Parish, Marinette

Birth Date: January 12

Seminary: Pontifical North American College | Archdiocese of the Military Co-Sponsorship

Seminary Address:
00120 Vatican City State
Europe

Theology IV

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Patron: Blessed John Henry Newman


Address for Mailing Cards:
N181 West Dr.
Menominee MI 49858-9788

 
 

Are you a dog person or a cat person?
A dog person, because I deeply believe Labrador Retrievers are the most loyal dogs of all time.

Tell us about a great experience you had during the summer of 2018.
During my parish experience, I traveled with the Sturgeon Bay area Life Teen program on a mission trip to Houston. One of the highlights from this trip was working with teens and young adults from our group who lived their Catholic faith with the folks we served in a poorer area of the city affected by Hurricane Harvey. They approached everyone with care and compassion. I was inspired by their generous hearts and missionary spirit as they shared who they were and cared for areas neglected or abandoned after the storm.

Who influenced you the most to think about priesthood?
After Jesus working on my heart in prayer, I think my pastor from Illinois, Fr. Richard Yanos of the Archdiocese of Chicago, gave me a great image of a happy and holy priest at a young age. He was the priest who gave me First Communion and was a great friend of my family when I lived in Illinois. I have been blessed with two great pastors in Marinette: Fr. Joseph Dorner and Fr. Celestine Byekwaso. They have been great examples for me on this journey. While I was at Marquette University, many of the Jesuit priests on faculty serving the campus encouraged me to consider diocesan priesthood. Before seminary and since I have entered, I have been blessed to have many holy priests as spiritual directors and formators who have been great examples of the priesthood, and, thereby, have encouraged my own discernment.

Divine Providence is God's active protection and guidance in our lives. How have you seen Providence in your life?
So often we are confused by God’s actions, or at least how they all fit together. I have often been confused about why certain people were close to me at particular times, until I realized in prayer or conversation how God’s Providence allowed me to be strengthened and encouraged by friendships into the seminary. During my first year in college, about two weeks into the first semester, I had to change dorm halls because of an issue with the room. I was nervous about moving dorms since I had already made friends with people in my building. However, I became very close to some of the students living in the new dorm. We ended up going to Mass as a group, studied, and quizzed together, and supported each other during the year. At the time, I thought I was just doing what most college kids did, and I did not see any Divine intervention in our group’s formation and friendship. When I entered seminary, these same friends gave me a lot of encouragement and support, even though none of them really knew what seminary was, or what a priest did. I did not appreciate how Providence worked in this situation until I went on my first silent retreat where the director encouraged me to pray with the relationships that led me to seminary. These friends, and our experiences together, came to mind. God worked through the difficult and awkward situations to help me do His will later in life.

Pope Francis recently wrote a document entitled Gaudete et Exsultate on holiness. What does holiness look like to you?
Holiness looks like an authentic life lived in love with God and neighbor. To be holy requires some kind of separation from the world, because following Christ — the fundamental activity of holiness — requires us to live for new values and a vision of the kingdom of God. Therefore, holiness can look downright foolish to the world, because the Christian values are greater than and explicitly opposed to fame, power, or money. In order to be separated from the world, or in other words, pursue holiness, the Christian has to be “called away” in some kind of deep, existential way from the “nets” of the world (Mt 4:18-22). Christ’s calling to a way of life will lead us to both separate from the world and do new things for God and others. This is at the heart of every vocation. I think it might be easy to get caught up in the “activities” of holiness — for example, certain prayers, devotions, etc. — we may associate with priests, holy people, or even the saints, but miss the radical individuality of the Gospel call. God calls each person to holiness in a particular way, not through the exact reproduction of another’s response in prayer or service. To sum up for my own life, I see holiness as both a kind of separation from this world and a cultivated relationship with God in which I respond (both in prayer and in action) as authentically as I am.

What is your dream car?
My absolutely unrealistic dream car is a 1968 Ford Mustang in Highland Green: an elegant car from a more civilized age. It was driven by Steve McQueen.

What aspect of your home parish is the most meaningful for you?
The stained glass windows at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Marinette are beautiful works of a more contemporary style. The image of Our Lady appearing to St. Bernadette is stunning