29 Jan Fr. Matt Elshoff Called to Mexico
Fr. Matt Elshoff, former Provincial Minister, will soon be departing to spend a year in Mexico working in the Capuchin Franciscan Western America Province’s parish in Benito Juarez, a suburb of Monterrey, Nueva Leon. The parish has 42,000 people – this includes 8 mission stations. Travel between these stations can be challenging and travel by donkey is occasionally required. It is important to note that this is not a rural area but an area with 1000s of infonavits – small homes, 500-1,000 sq ft. that would be similar to our housing projects, as in Watts for example. Indeed, that is what they are; they stretch for miles! Fr. Matt will also be celebrating Mass for two communities of cloistered nuns, the Carmelites and Poor Clares. He will live at Casa Padre Pio as part of the community of 18 student friars who studying philosophy and theology, also located in Benito Juarez.
His year at the mission will give him a chance to improve his Spanish and learn from the poor to whom he will minister – many of whom are immigrants from different parts of Mexico looking for work in Monterrey. Following his year there, he will be reassigned.
If you would like to contact Fr. Matt, please use the following email address: [email protected]
1. I professed temporary vows on July 13, 2013 at Old Mission Santa Inés in Solvang, CA.
2. I professed perpetual vows on April 29, 2017 at San Lorenzo Seminary in Santa Ynez, CA.
3. I am a lay brother.
4. I am from Van Nuys, CA.
5. Before I was accepted to be a postulant, I enrolled in community college courses at Los Angeles Valley College and East Los Angeles College. I was majoring in philosophy. My goal was to begin studies while I applied as a postulant to the Order.
6. After graduating from high school, I asked God who I was, what I was meant to do. While I was going to Mass daily and frequently received the sacrament of reconciliation, I discerned that God called me to this way of life. I was accepted as a postulant in 2011 and then entered the Order in 2012 at the San Lorenzo Seminary novitiate in California. During temporary vows, I studied philosophy at St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga. After I graduated and professed perpetual vows, I studied theology online with the University of Notre Dame and was assigned to be the caretaker of our older brother Joe Slominiski at San Lorenzo Seminary.
7. Currently, I am the guardian at Old Mission Santa Inés and the caregiver of Br. Joe Slominski, O.F.M. Cap.
8. My favorite Capuchin saint is Padre Pio. I frequently prayed to him when I was discerning religious life.
9. I am a certified catechist. I enjoy learning about computer innovations for gaming and eating with the brothers at In-N-Out or Jack in the Box.