Get to Know Fr. Matt King!
I was born in St. Augustine, FL and grew up in Elkton, FL which is a small farming town right outside St. Augustine. I’m the oldest of five children and thankfully my siblings and I are all close and we spend a good amount of time together. My school experience consisted of homeschooling and Florida Virtual School, and I played on the golf team at Pedro Menendez High School for all four years.
Growing up, my family was routinely involved with events and activities at our parish, San Sebastian Catholic Church. I was an altar server and I always had great respect for the priests in the area such as Fr. Tom Walsh, Fr. William Mooney, Fr. Paddy Carroll, and Fr. Rene Robert. Although as a child I never considered a vocation to the priesthood, my family emphasized a sense of reverence towards the church. Since we lived in Elkton which is about 30 minutes from “normal civilization,” my mother would regularly lead me and my siblings in praying the rosary while in the car. I believe that these moments fertilized the soil for my future vocation.
I encountered Christ in a powerful and personal way when I was entering my senior year of high school. A friend had invited me to join her for a youth event that took place at Christ the King Catholic Church in Jacksonville. Matt Maher was leading the music for adoration and Paul George was one of the speakers. For me, it was a moment of true encounter with the Lord and it opened my eyes to the life-giving nature of a relationship with Christ. A few months later I felt the call to enter the seminary. I entered the seminary following my high school graduation and spent 9 years in preparation for ordination. I was ordained on May 4th, 2019.
Being a priest has been an incredibly humbling and affirming experience. There is nothing like getting to celebrate the sacraments. My favorite part of being a priest is being able to be present to people in their suffering and pain. St. John Paul II said, “The world looks to the priest, because it looks to Jesus! No one can see Christ; but everyone sees the priest, and through him they wish to catch a glimpse of the Lord.” When people are going through a trial sometimes it’s difficult for them to see God’s presence in their lives, but as a priest, I have the privilege of bringing the hope that only Christ can give.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with other priests. I’m blessed to have several close friends in the priesthood and these relationships are truly life-giving. Some other fun facts are that I still enjoy playing golf, playing guitar, writing music, and going to the beach. I am an avid fan of the Jaguars, Florida State Seminoles, Miami Heat, and PGA Tour.
Fr. Matt King