Matthew Zwilling

Education Experience: Southeast High School (Portage County), Franciscan University of Steubenville

Favorite Saint(s): St. Louis de Montfort is my favorite saint because he loved the crosses he received and he understood how closely they can unite us to Jesus. He taught me that suffering has meaning. He is my favorite also because of his deep love for Mary and his trust in her power.

Hobbies/Interests: I love to sing in choirs, especially singing sacred music. I spend a lot of time preparing music, because I really enjoy it. We play a lot of soccer at seminary and that is great fun even though I’m not so good at it. I also love Nintendo games when I get a chance to play them. Pokémon!

Family Background: My mom is an engineer and my dad is a math professor. I have two older sisters, one a chemistry teacher in Chicago and one a human resource worker in California. My extended family all lives in southern Illinois.

What led you to consider the priesthood: Providentially, I took the Marian Consecration of St. Louis de Montfort on the same day that I went to my first ordination, when Fr. Chris Henyk became a priest. From then on I started to see the priesthood as something noble and beautiful, a vocation of self-sacrifice. Through Mary’s prayers, I was led to seriously consider a priestly vocation and it grew very attractive to me. I began to sense that in the Mass there was the source of every good that I desired. I felt like the only way to respond to Jesus, who gives me everything in the Eucharist, was to give everything to him. Pope Benedict has always inspired me as an example of priestly holiness and pastoral charity. I definitely consider myself part of the Benedictine vocation generation.

Favorite thing about Seminary Life: The Mass is celebrated very beautifully here. I am so grateful for that opportunity for prayer, especially with so many other men who love Jesus Christ and are preparing to become priests for him.

Advice for guys considering Priesthood: If my own experience is worth trusting, go to an Ordination Mass. Devote yourself to prayer and know that Jesus will never leave you empty when you step out in faith to follow him. You don’t need to have all the details figured out. In the words of Pope Francis, “Ask Jesus what he wants of you, and be bold!”

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