Matthew Heeder, C.S.C.



Hometown: East Lansing, Michigan

Year in Formation: Novice

College: University of Notre Dame

College Major: Mathematics and Spanish

Previous Job: Math Teacher at St. John Paul II High School in Corpus Christi, Texas

Patron Saint: Pope St. John Paul II, St. Teresa of Calcutta

Favorite Movie: The Shawshank Redemption

Favorite Books: No Greater Love by Mother Teresa

Favorite Music: Jack Johnson, Brother Isaiah

Hobbies: Sports, speaking Spanish

Most Memorable Prayer/Liturgy you have Attended: The wedding Mass of my brother Paul and his wife Elizabeth

Place of Pilgrimage you Most Want to Visit and why: The Holy Land. It would be incredible to walk where Jesus walked.

Favorite Way to Pray: Prayer journaling

Favorite Devotion: The Eucharist, the Rosary, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

What drew you to Holy Cross? I loved my three years as a teacher, and I love living in community. Both education and community are important dimensions of life in Holy Cross. Coming to know the men in formation drew me into the community, and I continue to be drawn to Holy Cross the more I read Blessed Basil Moreau’s writings and enter into the spiritual exercises he designed for his religious.

Your Vocation Story: I was discerning a job offer when the Lord invited me to discern priesthood and the seminary. As I began to explore that call, confirmations kept popping up at every turn: in prayer, in things that friends and strangers said to me, and in experiences of leading retreats at the school I worked at. I thought I had found my life’s work as a high school math teacher, but I noticed that experiences of ministry were speaking to my heart even more deeply than my teaching was — which I didn’t think was possible! I felt drawn to religious life, and while the first community I visited was wonderful, it wasn’t the right fit for me. The day I got back from that trip, I had an email from Holy Cross’ vocations director, inviting me to meet with him. After that meeting, I visited Holy Cross a couple of months later, and it felt like home. Everything that I felt was missing with the first community was present in Holy Cross. The fruits of the Spirit were clear to me as I was full of excitement and joy at the prospect of entering seminary with Holy Cross.

Favorite Verse: “I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” – Jeremiah 31:33

Favorite Quote: “Come [Holy Spirit]! Consume in us whatever prevents us from being consumed in you.” – St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

How can visitors to this page pray for you? Please pray that I might discern the Lord’s will well and that I might grow in humility. Thank you!