Serving God and the Community
Matt Himes, C'11, first felt the calling to enter the Catholic Priesthood during his undergraduate years at the Mount. While teaching with the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps in Boston, Massachusetts, Himes was inspired to grow as a person and understand God in new ways.
"Teaching was where God's whisper grew into a stronger desire to serve God and His people in a more profound way as a priest," Himes said. "It was a huge leap of faith for me and definitely required (and still requires today) a deep trust in God."
Himes explained that his faith in God and encouragement from family and friends sustain him and give him strength to serve others more intentionally, a lesson that continues to impact him today as he studies at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland to be a priest for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. "My time in the Seminary has been challenging, but it has also been a fruitful and beautiful experience of prayer, fraternity with my brother seminarians, and inner growth in many areas of my life," he says.
Among the countless influences throughout his spiritual journey, Himes notes several key figures from his time at the Mount. The Mount's University Chaplain, Father Brian Nolan, gave Himes a deeper understanding of the beauty of the priesthood vocation. Anne Marie Hallinan of the Office of Campus Ministry helped him understand more deeply the gift of God's love. Jeff Abel of the Office of Social Justice provided opportunities for him to better understand intentional service and the importance of solidarity in serving others, and Caroline Eick, Ph.D., of the Mount's Education Department helped him explore the importance of Catholic education and spirituality in the life of the Church.
Himes says Eick's passion for teaching and her deep care for her students are lessons that he carries with him to this day.
"It was at the Mount where I grew to develop my gifts and understand God and my Catholic faith more deeply and personally," Himes says. "The Mount challenged me to not only grow in faith, but also to develop a love for others and a desire to serve the community. The Mount really helped guide me to learn to listen to God and discern His will for my life.
"The strength of the community opens opportunities to grow in many areas of life and allows people to enter into their faith more deeply," Himes says. "The Catholic identity is prevalent in the strong Campus Ministry program, the opportunities to serve others through the Office of Social Justice, the variety of student life programs, and the ability to grow intellectually with the core curriculum - allowing students to become who they are called to be, strengthened by community and faith."
For current and prospective Mount students, Himes has a word of advice: "The Mount is a place where you can discover who you are called to be. Search within yourself and beyond during your time at the Mount. Challenge yourself. Take advantage of the opportunities before you and really seek the truth in your life. You might just be surprised by the potential you have to love and be more whole by simply listening and seeking."