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Having a seminary like Saint Charles allows every young man to hear and answer his call in his own time.

Having a seminary like Saint Charles allows every young man to hear and answer his call in his own time.

A Winding Road to Fulfillment

Newly Ordained Priest

Having a seminary like Saint Charles allows every young man to hear and answer his call in his own time.

Father Matthew Windle has been a priest for a little more than a year, serving at St. Maximillian Kolbe Parish in West Chester. In his words, he “loves it.” What he loves especially is the humbling connection with God he has found in hearing confessions and seeing God at work in the lives of his parishioners. It is a depth of connection he says he has never felt before.

That he became a priest at all is itself a minor miracle. He resisted God’s call for about 20 years. Like a lot of boys in Catholic grade schools, young Matthew was attracted to the idea of becoming a priest. Throughout high school the idea would continue to intrude on his thoughts, but Matthew suppressed it. He graduated from high school, got a job at a bank and began attending college at night. He saw his future clearly: work, promotions, marriage and a family.

God, it turned out, had other plans. In the middle of a successful career at Vanguard, the call to the priesthood became impossible to ignore. The more seriously he considered the possibility, the more he felt a sense of joy and excitement. He spoke to Fr. Chris Rogers, the Vocations Director at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, but still wasn’t sure. Fr. Rogers connected him to Fr. John Nordeman, who became a friend and spiritual advisor. Still, it took another five years for him to enter Saint Charles.

Once that decision was made, Fr. Windle speaks of experiencing “a peace I’ve never felt before.” The thought of being a priest truly excited him. But he was still unsure about what it would be like to actually be a priest in a parish. So, the year before he was to be ordained a Deacon, he asked for and received permission to spend a year in a parish, helping administratively, shadowing a priest and getting a feel for the life. That learning experience made all the difference.

The patience, encouragement and flexibility that Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary showed toward Fr. Windle enabled him to become the priest he is today. Some vocations are clear calls from God. Some start out as whispers. Having a seminary like Saint Charles allows every young man to hear and answer his call in his own time. It is important that it be there when he is ready. Our magnificent seminary depends on the generosity of people like you to help make priests like Father Windle possible. Please be as generous as you can.