Father Matthew Abu B. Cole, SMA, marking 25 years since priesthood ordination
MOLINE — A missionary priest of the Society of African Missions, Father Matthew Abu B. Cole, SMA, came to the Diocese of Peoria in 2017 to serve as the parochial vicar of Sacred Heart Parish here.
Father Matthew was born in Liberia, West Africa, and claims the Archdiocese of Monrovia as his home diocese. He prepared for the priesthood at St. Paul’s Catholic Seminary in Sowutuom, Accra, Ghana, and the Major Seminary of Sts. Peter and Paul in New Bodija, Nigeria, and was ordained on July 20, 1996, in Takoradi, Ghana.
“The priesthood is a call from Christ Jesus to serve, or better in the words of Mother Teresa, ‘We are not called to be successful, but faithful,’” Father Matthew said, adding that the biggest influence on his vocation has been Jesus, “who came to serve and not to be served.”
“Meeting Jesus Christ in people everywhere I go, people who are different from myself,” is what has given him joy in his priestly service, and he said memorable moments come often.
“In every day of my vocation, the grace of God has been and is a memorable moment for me,” Father Matthew told The Catholic Post.
Asked what the greatest lessons from his first 25 years of priesthood have been, he cited one lesson summarized in the words of St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 8:14: “Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.”
Father Matthew has no plans for a celebration. Rather than sending cards, “I ask all well-wishers to please pray for me, and for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life!”