matt rice, ablaze missionaryMATT RICE

Hometown: College Station, Texas

Education:

  • Texas A&M, B.S. in Computer Science, 2000
  • Catholic Theological Union, M.Div with Biblical Studies concentration, 2008

Ministry Background: I have been working in youth ministry since August of 2001 when I was the Director of Youth Ministry for St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church in Lewisville, TX.

My most recent experience is here in the Brazos Valley, working at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Bryan. We have served there since 2009, building the ministry from 9 teens to an average of 45+ teens per night. Before coming to St. Joseph’s in Bryan much of my experience was with high school youth- to be honest, middle school youth scared me! After years of ministry in the middle school age group I have come to see how important it is to minister to these youth and help them ignite a fire for Christ and discipleship that will help them on their journey with Christ.

At least once a year I am brought in to the Diocese of Austin by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry office to help train local youth ministers by presenting portions of the Basic Certificate of Youth Ministry. For more details please view my personal site.

Passions and interests: I am the proud father of six amazing children, three boys and three girls: Levi,  Asher, Trinity, Eden, Isaac, and Gianna. I am the loving husband of my beautiful bride Weslei. Much of my passions and interests revolve around my family. I am a den leader, t-ball and baseball coach and stay at home dad.

I’m constantly reading books about our faith, the more I learn the more I fall in love with this beautiful Church that Christ founded. I want every Catholic no matter their age to truly realize this amazing gift, and I hope to be able to do everything that God wants me to do in order to realize this.

How did you become involved with Ablaze/why are you involved? As I noticed some unfortunate trends in youth ministry, I began talking with friends in ministry to develop a solution. Ablaze Ministries is the result of many discussions, much prayer and discernment. I truly believe that Ablaze presents a viable model to respond to the needs of every church.

Favorite quote/Bible verse:

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father. What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”
– Matthew 18:10-14