Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins and members of the clergy gather on the steps of St. Benedict Church to celebrate Rev. Jay Matthews' 40th anniversary as a priest on May 17.
Courtesy of Mr. AV Ervin
Family, priests encouraged
Rev. Jay Matthews' vocation
Parishioners, family and friends flocked to St. Benedict Church in Oakland on May 17 to offer congratulations on his 40th year as a priest to Rev. James (Jay) V. Matthews II, a beloved local man who grew up in the parish where he has been pastor for a quarter century.
In recognition of his standing in the community, the Oakland City Council proclaimed May 6 as Father Jay Matthews Day.
Father Matthews was ordained on May 3, 1974, as the first African American Catholic priest in the Diocese of Oakland.
Father Matthews was born in 1948 in Berkeley, and grew up in Albany and Oakland. He was graduated from Skyline High School, and with a bachelor's degree from St. Patrick's College, Mountain View, and a master's degree from St. Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park. He did post-graduate work at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
He offers his own thoughts on why he became a priest, including the influence of his family and other priests, click here for more.
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