Matthew I. Dunch, SJ, 33, hails from outside Youngstown, Ohio. He wanted to be a physicist from a young age but quickly realized the answers to his questions about the universe weren’t found in scientific books. As he searched for meaning and understanding, Dunch immersed himself in philosophy and theology and became active in youth ministry events at his local parish. Seeking to continue his exploration of faith and science, he headed to the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. As a student, Dunch interned for a Jesuit at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as part of a project to rebuild the church in Central and Eastern Europe. During Christmas of his junior year, he and his family were part of a Jesuit-led trip to the Holy Land, and in the spring semester of that year Dunch spent a semester at Oxford University in England. There, on the campus where Jesuit martyr St. Edmund Campion studied, Dunch’s discernment took flight. The summer before his senior year of college, he did a six-week program with the Jesuits and then joined the Society of Jesus following his 2006 graduation. As a novice, Dunch spent several months teaching at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy before being missioned to Loyola University Chicago, where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy in 2011. Missioned next to Xavier University in Cincinnati, he taught philosophy and ethics for three years. At Regis College at the University of Toronto, Dunch earned a Master of Divinity degree while working as a deacon at the Newman Center on campus. Highlights of his Jesuit formation include summers spent studying in Bolivia, Peru, Spain, Austria and Israel. After ordination, Dunch will spend the summer at St. Francis Xavier Church in Cincinnati and then return to Toronto to complete a master’s degree in theology/ Licentiate in Sacred Theology. His first Mass as a priest will be held at St. Joan of Arc Chapel on the campus of Marquette University in Milwaukee followed by a Mass a week later at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in his hometown.
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Sioux Spiritual Center
The Sioux Spiritual Center, nestled amid the hills of western South Dakota, is the heart of the Diocese of Rapid City’s efforts to develop native clergy and leadership on the reservations.