An Alaskan cruise, a path to priesthood

By Christina Capecchi


Matthew Bearth was 17 when he set out on an Alaskan cruise that changed the course of his life and led him to the seminary. Today the 20-year-old college junior loves to recount that northern voyage.
Matthew didn’t have a passport when his family decided to take an Alaska cruise the August before his senior year. It was a time when an onslaught of questions was beginning to come from every direction. What college are you going to attend? What kind of career are you planning?
He didn’t know the answers.
As a young boy, he’d considered being an astronaut or an NFL punter. Now the Burnsville, Minn., teen was thinking practical: a business degree from a college where he’d have good odds of meeting a nice Catholic girl.
“I was definitely assuming marriage,” Matthew told me.

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