Matthew FerchMatthew Ferch

 First Theology 

Parish: St. Agnes, Butler

Seminary:  St. Francis de Sales

Birthday:  October 28

Intercessor: St. Norbert

Describe yourself:

I am just a simple guy living the dream and trying to do God’s will.

Tell us your vocation story:

I received a letter from the Archdiocese’s Vocations Office my senior year of high school telling me that my pastor sent my name along to them as a potential vocation. I was shocked, but I was respectful and heard what they had to say. When I went to college, I was a Theology and Political Science major with the intention of working in politics and law, but I fell in love with Theology instead with the thought that I would work for the Church as a lay person. I wanted to be open to the potential to being a priest, so I remained in contact with the Vocations Office. Over time, I found that all I could think about was being a priest. Everything I was doing in college seemed to be practice for skills I needed to be a priest. I was a RA to practice pastoral skills, participated in the college’s Parish Council and the life of the parish, involved in Campus Ministry, and had a parish internship as my worksite when I was in post-graduate service. I also knew I was meant to help people after some difficult times in my life, and I wanted to help others who may be in similar situations or need a person to be supportive. I was receiving advice from many different people that if I was having this strong feeling about priesthood, I should just go for it and apply. So I decided that I should not run from my vocation anymore, and I should apply to the Seminary. After discerning between the Archdiocese and other religious orders, I decided that I wanted to return home and serve the people of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. 

What is the greatest challenge facing a man considering the seminary?

I think one of the greatest challenges is trying to cope with the perception people have about seminary and the priesthood. Many people have negative opinions about it, do not see the value of it, and think those who are in the seminary are throwing their lives away. Society has such an individualistic focus and the expectation that people get married and have children. It can get discouraging, but men who are considering the seminary should not lose hope. Priesthood is such a rewarding vocation and can do a lot of good in the world. Seminary and priesthood is a gift and a calling from God. A person should try to attune themselves to knowing what God wants and not what other people think.

What is your favorite psalm verse and why?

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad” (Ps. 118:24) Not only is this the Psalm usually associated with Easter which means it is spring and new life is in the air, but this verse describes that every day is a gift from the Lord. God has given us a new day to praise him and do good works in his name. Therefore we must be glad and thankful to Him for giving us this gift of a new day and life which is full of possibilities and wonder.

What are your favorite activities outside of the seminary?

Reading, playing video games, watching Netflix.

Where do you like to go pray?

I like to go back to my home parish at St. Agnes and pray with the community there. They are so loving and welcoming that one can truly sense that Christ is present.

Where do you do your best studying?

My room so I can be more comfortable with my surroundings and have more space while studying.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?

St. Norbert. I went to St. Norbert College, so I have a special connection to him. He had zeal to preach and pass on the faith as well as having a commitment to keeping peace and a devotion to the Eucharist serves as an inspirational example for me to do the same.

Vocation Office

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