“Never be afraid to accept your vocation. Because God will supply what we need.” Fr. Craig Giera and Fr. David Pellican are joined by Fr. Matthew Hood. Together they discuss Fr. Matt’s journey from asking big questions about the Faith in high school to being ordained a priest. After spending eight years in seminary, Fr. Matt has served the Archdiocese of Detroit in parish and school ministry. He offers advice for men discerning: “If God has given you even the smallest desire for the priesthood, pursue it. That doesn't happen often.”
(00:03) Fr. Craig Giera and Fr. David Pellican welcome us to this episode of Men of the Hearts. This month’s guest is Fr. Matthew Hood, the chaplain for Detroit Catholic Campus Ministry which serves Wayne State University and the University of Michigan – Dearborn as well as the surrounding campuses. He shares about his summer abroad in Brazil on a mission trip with FOCUS, Fellowship of Catholic University Students.
(10:40) The Costco King: the hosts and Fr. Matt play a game related to opinions about Costco. Fr. Craig announces the winner of the competition will be announced at the end of the episode.
(16:33) Fr. Matt’s vocation story: In high school, Fr. Matt found himself asking many big questions about faith while attending St. Joseph Parish in Lake Orion. He found that the Catholic Church offered the answers to every question he proposed in a more profound manner, allowing him to trust and surrender. He began to desire not just to know God but also to develop a relationship with Him. Spending time in the local Eucharistic Adoration chapel is where he first felt a desire for the priesthood.
(20:15) While before the Lord in Eucharistic Adoration, Fr. Matt began praying with Scripture, particularly the passage of Jesus calling the disciples on the Sea of Galilee in which he felt the Lord telling him “To follow Him, throw down my nets, put out into the deep” as a priest. But he pushed the thought to the side.
(25:51) From questions to his vocation: Fr. Matt explains in more detail the journey from asking questions to considering the priesthood. In encountering Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, he felt the Lord kept placing the call to the priesthood on his heart. Fr. Matt enrolled at Central Michigan University his freshmen year and participated in Catholic Campus Ministry which helped to further confirm his vocation to the priesthood.
(31:34) The process of entering seminary: joy, friendship, and fraternity played a pivotal role for Fr. Matt. He applied and was accepted to the seminary, where he found the first year challenging. He was tempted to feel “I’m not holy enough, I’m not worthy enough.” He was challenged by doubts and an experience of feeling undeserving of the priesthood.
(43:25) Life as a priest: The priests talk about Fr. Matt’s experience of working at Divine Child parish and school. He then describes how he lives out his priesthood walking with college students, including hosting events for exploring the Faith and deepening one’s conversion. Fr. Matt recommends finding a priest as a spiritual director to help guide a man considering a vocation to the priesthood. “What might be the next step?” They discuss key advice for how to discern if God is calling a man to the priesthood. “God speaks to us in silence. If there is a small desire for priesthood, pay attention to it, have courage, don’t be afraid, and seek it.” Fr. Matt closes the episode in prayer.