Rev. Matthew Hovde, C.S.C., Ordained a Priest

Author: Marianne FitzGerald

NOTRE DAME — With abundant joy and thanksgiving, the United States Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross announces the Ordination of two new priests on Saturday, April 2, at 2 p.m. at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart  on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. The Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend will confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders on Rev. Mr. Matthew Earle Hovde, CSC, and Rev. Mr. Dennis Anthony Strach II, CSC.

On Aug. 29, 2015, Deacons Hovde and Strach professed perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and committed themselves to the common life and apostolic work of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

Rev. Mr.  Matthew Earle Hovde, CSC, is the youngest of three children of Robert and Cynthia Hovde of Miami, Fla. He entered formation with the Congregation in 2007 and professed First Vows on July 28, 2012.

Matthew earned his M.Div. from the University of Notre Dame in 2015.   

Hovde Rev

As he prepares for Ordination day, Matthew reflects on the  charism of Holy Cross and how his understanding of it has changed, as well as his hopes for life in Holy Cross.

“I see being an ‘educator in the faith’ as central to Holy Cross. Throughout my time in formation, seeing Holy Cross in university work, parish life, serving the homeless, and many other apostolic works have all formed how I understand our community. They all seem to revolve around this notion of being educators in the faith.

Wherever we serve, and in whatever capacity we work, we are — at heart — evangelists. We are here to spread the message of Christ. But our work is not primarily one of instructing people on the information of the Gospel; instead, we try to bring it to life within them. We form the entire person into faithful disciples of Jesus, and educate the mind and heart of those we serve so that they can grow in holiness.

I hope to continue to grow in my love of Jesus Christ. Uniting myself to His Cross and being a herald of His Resurrection is the joy of my life. I hope that I can continue to live out the beautiful mystery of our vows with joy and zeal. I hope that I continue to minister alongside my brothers faithfully. I hope that one day when my ministry on this earth has ended, there are more Holy Cross Religious than when I entered, spreading the Gospel and building up God’s people in holiness.”

Father Matthew’s first Mass as a priest will be at 11:45 a.m. on April 3, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

Rev. Mr. Dennis Anthony Strach II, CSC, is the only son of Dennis and Carla Strach of Rochester Hills, Mich. Presently serving his diaconate at St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church in Austin, Texas, Dennis sums up his Ordination to the priesthood this way:

“The whole thing is pretty surreal, but I’m excited. While I’ve been preparing for this moment for the past six years in a very intentional way, I’ve really been preparing for it in small ways throughout my entire life. There have been so many people along the way — my parents, friends, teachers at my Catholic grade school and high school, professors in college, parishioners back at home — who have inspired me and challenged me to do God’s will and to use my gifts to serve others. I’m happy to have found a vocation that makes use all of my talents, that provides me with a deep sense of joy and fulfillment, and a vocation that continually calls me to be better than I am – that is, to live as God has created me.

I am most excited to preside at the Eucharist. It will be such an incredible experience to offer up to God the gifts, prayers, and concerns of my brothers and sisters, and to act in the person of Christ, mediating God’s love and mercy to those I encounter through this Sacrament. It’s an awesome responsibility and an indescribable grace.”

Father Dennis will celebrate his first Mass as a priest at 10 a.m. on April 3, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

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This story was originally published on Today's Catholic News.