Seminarian Matthew Valles to be ordained to the transitional diaconate

Bishop Robert Deeley will ordain seminarian Matthew Valles to the transitional diaconate on Sunday, January 7, at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.

Transitional deacons are men who are journeying to the priesthood and who, most often, will be ordained to the priesthood in the coming year.

“I am super happy, so excited, and very grateful. It’s really wonderful to be here at this point,” said Valles about his upcoming ordination. “You just feel really blessed.”

Born in Oregon, Valles grew up in Rhode Island, before moving to Maine to attend college. He received a bachelor’s degree in science from Bates College in Lewiston and then a master’s degree in physics from the University of Maine in Orono.

Valles says it was during his college years that he reconnected with the faith of his childhood and when he started to seriously consider whether he was being called to the priesthood.

“I started to think about the priesthood in my junior year of college because of experiencing a sense of peace in coming back to Mass,” he says.

He decided to continue his studies in physics at the University of Maine but also made his faith a priority by becoming an active member of campus ministry while there.

“I would go on vocations retreats. The FOCUS missionaries had Bible studies. There was confession readily available and Eucharistic adoration. I learned at that point in time to pray the Liturgy of the Hours,” he says.

Although he says he was happy, he says he also felt something was still missing and came to the conclusion that he needed to find out whether he was being called to the priesthood. He applied to enter seminary and was accepted by the Diocese of Portland, beginning his studies at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass., in September 2017.

He describes the journey since that time as amazing.

“I feel really blessed and very grateful that I can be doing what I am doing, that I can be serving the Church in this way,” he says.

The rite of ordination will take place during the Sunday 10 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The Mass is open to the public and all are invited to attend. A reception will follow in Guild Hall.