Meet our seminarians: Deacon Matthew Westcott

Home Parish: St. Clement, Somerville. Seminary: St. John’s Seminary, Brighton. High School: St. Clement High School. College: Norwich University Hobbies: Reading, sports, outdoors. Ordained to Transitional Diaconate: Jan. 7, 2007

When was the first time you thought of priesthood?

I was in the eighth grade and had befriended Father Bill Murphy at St. Clement’s. The life appealed to me.

What were major Catholic activities you participated

in prior to the seminary?

I attended a Boston area celebration of the World Youth Day in Denver. I also participated actively in my parish as a eucharistic minister and youth minister.

Who influenced/inspired you to priesthood?

Please explain.

The many great priestly examples at St. Clement Parish, in particular Father Bill Murphy.

What would you say to a young man who thinks he may have a vocation?

Pray and keep and open heart and mind. Christ will lead you to where He wants you.

Please tell us, what are some of the most important parts of discernment?

The willingness to do something about what you feel in prayer. I think many think they should come to the seminary and do nothing about it. Give God a shot.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I ride a motorcycle and did stand-up comedy in Boston area clubs.

What activities would you recommend in order to foster a culture of vocations.

More pro-active appeals from happy priests and more public demonstrations of our faith, like processions.

What influence (if any) has Pope John Paul II had

on your vocation?

He is the only pope I have ever known. He is the example that an entire generation looks up to as the parish priestly ideal.

How did you come to know Jesus Christ?

My family and life in St. Clement Parish and its schools.

What are some of your favorite and most important spiritual readings/books/passages?

“The Spiritual Combat” and “The Imitation of Christ.” Also, “Gift and Mystery” by Pope John Paul II and “Priests for the Third Millennium” by Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

Through the cardinal, God is calling you personally

to help rebuild His Church. How must the priest respond to this mandate today?

By understanding that no program is the answer. The answer is a greater devotion to and following of Jesus Christ. This always takes place within the governance of the Catholic Church under the direction of the pope and the bishops.

The Pilot, in cooperation with the Office of Vocations, is publishing a series of brief profiles of the men preparing for the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston. For other profiles or if you think God may be calling you to a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, visit the Vocations Office Web site at