Br. Matt Wooters, SJ
Br. Matt Wooters, SJ

Describe your current role — what do you do each day?

I am currently getting my master’s in social work at Saint Louis University. So my life these days involves daily personal prayer, school, community Mass and dinner, rock climbing, yoga, semi-regular Netflixing and working overnight at a local homeless shelter in blighted North St. Louis. I will be in Latin America for the next eight months attempting to improve my terrible Spanish and working with the Jesuit Migrant Services in Mexico. I look forward to accompanying Central American migrants on their route north and learning about migration from their lived experience.

What do you love most about being a brother?

I love being a space for people to share their story, wherever they may be on their journey. For better or worse, talking to a priest can be intimidating (especially for those who feel far from the church), but as a brother I see myself as a bridge of sorts. I have heard from peers, clients, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, that people feel like they can let their guard down and be themselves around me because I am their brother. If I can be that space for people, meeting them where they are and accompanying them there, I can ask for nothing more.

Why did you feel called to serve as a brother/as a Jesuit?

After college I was a Jesuit Volunteer in Belize and accompanying the poor was transformative for me. I felt more alive, more consoled and more myself in Belize than I did at any other time in my life to that point. Accompanying the indigenous villagers on retreats and days of reflection, I was not in a position of authority but was on their level. We were sharing our stories and our lives with each other. I was primarily attracted to the Society, but never felt called to the priesthood. I felt called to the Jesuits for many reasons: community, prayer, the vows, commitment to the marginalized. Being a brother was the perfect fit. I could be fully myself, being with people. After a few years in the Society, being a Jesuit brother is an intrinsic aspect of my identity. This life, not without challenges, calls forth the best of me. I desire to be a brother to others as Jesus is our brother. 

Click here to read about Br. Wooters' podcast at St. Louis University.

 
Br. Wooters with his young nieces and nephews.

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Publications

Jesuits Summer 2019

Jesuits Spring 2019

Jesuits Fall/Winter 2018





Creighton University Retreat Center
Located 45 miles east of Omaha, Neb., in rural Iowa, the Creighton University Retreat Center is situated on 154 wooded acres on the Nishnabotna River.