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Born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, but relocated to Tulsa at two years of age, Fr. Matt Gerlach is pretty much an Okie at heart! He attended St. Pius X School from 1st through 8th grades, Bishop Kelley for high school, and Tulsa Junior College for his freshman year of college.
In the spring of 1990, after a visit to a seminary, he discerned that being in a college seminary would afford him the opportunity to figure out what God was calling him to do with his life. That fall, he began his sophomore year at St. Meinrad College Seminary and graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He continued studies for the priesthood at St. Meinrad School of Theology, obtaining a Master of Arts degree in Catholic Thought and Life, as well as a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Tulsa on May 24th, 1996, by Bishop Edward J. Slattery.
Since ordination he has served the diocese in several different roles. His first assignment was as an Associate Pastor at St. Benedict's Church in Broken Arrow, under the tutelage of Msgr. Patrick Gaalaas. During that first year, he was given the role of Director of the Propagation of the Faith for the diocese, a role he continues to enjoy to this day. After only one year in Broken Arrow, he was moved to Holy Family Cathedral as the Associate Pastor, where he worked with Msgrs. Jim Halpine and Gregory Gier.
Also, during his first five years as a priest, he was a part-time chaplain, "Father Tuesday", at Bishop Kelley High School. In addition, with the help of Father James White, Fr. Matt assumed the role of Diocesan Director of Worship and Master of Ceremonies for the Bishop. In 2001, he was assigned as Pastor of St. Catherine Church and School in West Tulsa. A year later, the care of the parish of St. Joseph Church in Bristow, Oklahoma, was added to his duties. In 2008, he left St. Catherine and St. Joseph to become the Director of Vocations for the Diocese and to be the chaplain at the St. Philip Neri Newman Center on the campus of the University of Tulsa.
Three years later, in 2011, Bishop Slattery assigned Fr. Matt as Pastor to his home parish of St. Pius X, an assignment that would bring him full circle in his vocational ministry. Fr. Matt has two cats named Huck and Jameson, loves to play the piano and sing, and loves being with his big family; he's the youngest of 6 kids with 14 nieces and nephews, and 38 great-nieces and nephews.