Deacon Matthew Gregory, a native of South Portland, was officially ordained into the priesthood during a special ceremony May 28 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.

He will become parochial vicar of the Corpus Christi Parish, which covers Waterville, Winslow and Belgrade Lakes, effective July 1.

Gregory has been serving the diocese as a deacon. Prior to his ordination he said in a press release that it “doesn’t seem real. When I first started out, it seemed so far off, but the years have just flown by. I still can’t believe it.”

For years his faith had taken a backseat, he said, but one day he recognized the need to have God back in his life. He began attending daily Mass and also praying the rosary daily and soon after “began to discern my call to the priesthood,” he said.

In 2010 he entered St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore and later transferred to Pope Saint John XXIII National Seminary in Massachusetts where he recently completed his theological studies and priestly formation.

While Gregory’s list of supporters and mentors is long, it includes a special space for the Rev. Bob Vaillancourt, currently a hospital chaplain in Portland.

“(Father Bob) took me under his wing and really showed me what it means to be a priest and a holy priest,” Gregory said in the release. “Something he always said is, ‘You know, Matt, we don’t need good priests. We don’t need great priests. We need holy priests.’ And that’s what I strive to be.”

He added, “God has been very merciful to me in my life and something that I strongly desire is to share the love and mercy of God with others. This moment has been a long time coming and I am so grateful to Almighty God for calling me to serve him and his people.”

He is the son of Debbie and Michael Gregory and attended St John and Holy Cross in South Portland.

Matthew Gregory, a native of South Portland, who’s been serving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland as a deacon, was ordained into the priesthood in a special ceremony on May 28.

Matthew Gregory during his ordination into the priesthood during a special ceremony this past weekend.

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