At Sweetest Heart of Mary Church in Detroit on November 21, the Rev. Matthew Maxwell, MC (’08), became Thomas Aquinas College’s 74th alumnus priest — and, more notably still, the first American-born priest for the Miles Christi religious order.

“We are here with a conviction that God is about to do something great,” said the Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, in his homily at the ordination Mass. “He is about to do the great work of grace because it is Christ who makes Br. Matthew a priest. It is Christ who acts, who consecrates you.”

Dedicated to helping the laity grow in holiness through spiritual direction, Ignatian spirituality and sound doctrinal formation, Miles Christi is a young order of priests founded in Argentina, but with a small, burgeoning presence in the U.S. Fr. Maxwell “is the first priest recruit of our work in the States,” Rev. John Ezratty, MC, superior of Miles Christi’s Michigan chapter, told Detroit Catholic. “It is kind of the beginning of a long history. Up until now, we have been working with a lot of men, but the fact that a person born in the States is now becoming a priest is a big milestone.”

Fr. Maxwell’s ordination marks the culmination of a 10-year journey, which began with his entering the order as a postulant in 2011. After spending the first years of his formation in Michigan, he completed his novitiate at the Miles Christi motherhouse in Argentina, then undertook theological studies at Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Fr. Maxwell now ministers in the Archdiocese of Detroit, where he offers spiritual direction, organizes formation groups, and contributes to the formation of Miles Christi seminarians.