On June 5, Archbishop José H. Gomez will ordain eight new priests for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
The Class of 2021 will begin their first assignments as parish life gradually resumes around the archdiocese following a year of closures, outdoor sacraments, and social distancing.
In the days leading up to their ordination, we’ll be introducing a new soon-to-be Father. Los Angeles, meet your new priests!
Hometown: Moreno Valley
Home parish: Holy Family, Glendale
Parish assignment: Our Lady of Assumption, Ventura
When Matthew Miguel takes his final vows as a new priest, he will not do it alone, he said, because so many people have traveled with him on his vocation journey.
“I’m very grateful,” he said. “I would always tell these families that I see that this vocation does not belong to me, but it is part of their vocation as well. This is the fruit of their prayers. This is the fruit of their vocation as well. I am fully indebted to them. I’m grateful for the opportunity for me to encounter and journey together during this journey of faith. I’m very appreciative with their prayers, their support, and their love and sacrifice.”
The journey began when he was attending high school. Active as a servant leader, Miguel remembers attending a youth rally. The day was full of fun activities — songs, skits, competitions — and ended with a Mass.
“I remember the priest saying, ‘Young people, don’t be afraid. If you feel called to the priesthood, come forward for a blessing.’ ”
As the priest was walking by with the Blessed Sacrament, Miguel described the sudden feeling that “Jesus was embracing me.”
Though he said the feeling brought with it a good deal of peace and comfort, it also caused him to shake uncontrollably. Looking back, he said he now understands that God was calling him and he was shaking because “I didn’t know what this feeling was before.”
Miguel went forward for a blessing and has remained on a priestly path ever since. He believes that God has given him the grace to go beyond his weaknesses and shortcomings to serve those in need, especially young people, the elderly, and families. In fact, though it is the priests who, like the apostles, are sent out to serve, he believes that people provide much more in the way of guidance.
“I really feel that it’s the people who are the ones that will guide us and teach us how to be priests,” he said. “Here at the seminary, we can only learn so much about theology, but once we’re out at the parish with the flock, that’s when they’re the ones that allow us how to become a priest, to tend to them, to listen to them, and cater to their needs.”
And he can’t wait to get started, he said. Whether it’s visiting the sick, counseling youth, bringing the Eucharist to those who can’t get to church, or any one of countless things that ease suffering and bring comfort to people, to journey with them through the good and the bad.
“I believe that God has given me the grace to serve, that my heart isn’t meant for just one person,” he said. “I love serving the kids, I love being with the people. When they ask me for help, I can’t say no.”
Capacity for the ordination is limited due to COVID-19 protocols and attendance is ticket-only. To attend the ordination Mass virtually, visit LACatholics.org/ordination.