Mr. Matthew Wong
YEAR IN FORMATION
St. Thomas More, Irvine
FAVORITE MUSIC GENRE
Saint Padre Pio + Saint Pope John Paul II
I was born in 2002 in Laguna Hills. I share a birthday with my twin sister. We attended schools in Irvine. In high school freshman year, I joined St. Michael’s Preparatory School before returning to Irvine to finish high school. For college, I went to UCI to study applied mathematics. During my freshman year in college, I concurrently applied to the seminary.
Both sides of my family are Catholic. While growing up, I was actively involved in the altar server program at St. Thomas More Parish. I also became a catechist for first year Holy Communion students and a lector during my senior year of high school.
What are some of the factors that led to your decision to enter the seminary and discern the question of a vocation to the priesthood?
One of the biggest factors that influenced my interest in the priesthood was my experience attending St. Michael’s Preparatory School with the Norbertine Fathers. As students, we attended Mass and Holy Hour daily. While my previous experience as an altar server at my parish certainly helped me develop an awareness of Christ’s Presence in the Holy Eucharist, it was my frequent participation in the Eucharistic liturgies at the Abbey that I formed an even deeper relationship with God. And, naturally, as I grew closer to the Eucharist, my interest in the priesthood also increased.
Who are some of the people who influenced your decision to enter the seminary? What is it about them that assisted you?
During my discernment process, I have come to know many holy priests from our Diocese including my spiritual director and the priests from my parish. Witnessing their genuine faith and joy despite their many sacrifices helped me see that the priesthood, a life that is lived in complete abandonment to Christ and His Church, is fulfilling and meaningful. Thus, through our priests’ examples, I found myself increasingly attracted to the Diocesan priesthood.
Describe the moment that you knew you wanted to take the next steps to become a priest?
Many times throughout my freshman year in college, I realized, through much prayer and discernment, that I felt a great sense of peace when I thought of joining the priesthood, a feeling that became increasingly stronger as time passed.