On this National Vocation Awareness Week, Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Pam Biehl interviews Fr. Matthew Colle, a priest for the Diocese of Green Bay currently parochial vicar at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. His home parish is St. Mary, Luxemburg, Wisconsin.
Fr. Matthew Colle received formation for the priesthood at the Pontifical North American College. Fr. Colle began his seminary formation in Milwaukee at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary in 2016 while studying philosophy for two years at nearby Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.
Fr. Colle was born and raised in Luxemburg, Wisconsin. He is the son of Mike and Sue Colle. Alongside his two brothers, Mike and Nick, he grew up playing sports and helping his dad on the farm. This led to his first career choice in agriculture. Being involved in 4-H and FFA in high school and exhibiting sheep and cattle at livestock shows, it was natural to pursue a college degree in Animal Science. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, he earned a Master’s degree from the University of Idaho . It was there that Fr. Colle first experienced the call to the priesthood. Throughout his life, the faith was important to Fr. Colle. It was passed onto him by his parents, his childhood pastor, Father Milton Suess, and teachers at St. Mary grade school in Luxemburg. Every school day would begin with Mass and the Colle boys would often serve at Sunday 7:30 a.m. Mass.
Being close to Father Suess and the altar gave him a respect for the priesthood and the Mass. Still, when Fr. Suess told Fr. Colle as a grade-schooler that he would be a good priest, he did not think he could or would even like to become a priest. It was not until his second and final year at the University of Idaho that in silent prayer Fr. Colle experienced a deeper sense of the Lord’s presence. Surrounded by a strong Catholic student group and a joyful young priest, he began to be drawn toward the priesthood. He applied to seminary and entered that fall.
He has a love for Sacred Scripture and looks forward to using the readings at Mass to lead the people more deeply into the mysteries of our faith. He has been blessed to have had summer assignments at St John the Baptist in Howard and last year at St. Clare in Askeaton, Greenleaf, and Wrightstown. Fr. Colle’s first priestly appointment is as parochial vicar at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Manitowoc as well as serving as chaplain at Roncalli High School.