CELEBRATION OF 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF ORDINATION
On May 2, the community of Saint Joseph Seminary College joined in a celebration of the 25th anniversary of priestly ordination for Rev. Matthew Clark, O.S.B., Vice Rector. Sponsored and planned by the students, it was attended by fellow priests, faculty members, the student body, and Fr. Matthew's parents, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Clark. Fr. Matthew was ordained on May 2, 1987 by Archbishop Hannan.
The evening began with a Mass celebrated by Fr. Matthew in the student chapel. Concelebrating with him were Abbot Justin Brown, O.S.B. of the Abbey, Fr. Gregory Boquet, O.S.B., President-Rector of the Seminary College, and Rev. Joey Pilola of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, all classmates of Fr. Matthew , and long time friend, Rev. Frank Girior, Pastor of St. Anselm Parish. Fr. Matthew also gave the homily.
In 1986, after being ordained a deacon, Fr. Matthew began his ministry at the Seminary College serving in the Finance Office as treasurer until 1991. He then became Dean of Students until 1998, when he was away for graduate studies in organ and pastoral music at Santa Clara University. In 1999, he was named novice master and Sub-Prior of the monastery. In 2002 he returned to the Seminary College in the position of Vice-Rector. This ended when he was deployed to Marine Logistics Command in Kuwait for six months. In 2003 he was named Director of Development and Director of Alumni for the Seminary College, and in 2006 he resumed the position of Vice-Rector, which he continues at present.
During his time in the Seminary College, Fr. Matthew has also taught theology, served as organist, and worked in the seminary formation program. From 1998 to 2008 he served as a Naval Reserve chaplain. At present he also continues as Director of Alumni, and as chaplain for the St. Paul's School, another long time ministry.
The Mass was followed by a reception and a supper in the student refectory. A slide presentation showed scenes from Fr. Matthew's activities for the Seminary College since 1986. Student Body President, Stephen Gadberry, spoke of the students' esteem for Fr. Matthew and of his influence on them and offered a thank you from the students.
Both Abbot Justin and Fr. Gregory shared their remembrances of life with their classmate and of their love for him and their gratitude for his ministry. The Schola Cantorum provided the music for the Mass. The Hispanic Choir performed during the reception, and a group of students provided songs and instrumental music.