St. Matthew Catholic Church Receives 2016 Best of Longview Award

St. Matthew Catholic Church has been selected for the 2016 Best of Longview Award in the Places of Worship category by the Longview Award Program.

Each year, the Longview Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Longview area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2016 Longview Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Longview Award Program and data provided by third parties.

St. Matthew’s is frequently described by their parishioners and visitors as very hospitable, friendly and welcoming.

Monsignor Xavier Pappu, pastor of St. Matthew Church.
Monsignor Xavier Pappu, pastor of St. Matthew Church.

“The atmosphere at the church community is one of a warm spiritual family, filled with people who care about each other and the Longview community,” said Msgr. Xavier Pappu, pastor of St. Matthew’s.

The church was dedicated on Palm Sunday of 1999 and has grown from a humble beginning of approximately 250 families to over 800 registered families.

“This family is growing in the Lord Jesus and in number of membership. This is a true testimony to the faith, dedication, and the warm welcoming nature of our parish family,” Msgr. Pappu said.

According to Msgr. Pappu, St. Matthew’s fulfills the needs of both its English and Spanish speaking parishioners and community. There are currently over 3,000 participants in the numerous programs, activities and services offered by St. Matthew’s ministries. There are over 60 ministries, organizations and groups active in the parish, with over 250 members in leadership roles.

Celebration of the Holy Mass at St. Matthew’s includes challenging homilies and  uplifting liturgies and educational programs. Msgr. Pappu says that congregational participation with beautiful singing during the prayerful liturgies with power point audio visual presentations “enhances the prayers and worship.”

In the “Something for Everyone” model at St. Matthews, some of the many programs at the parish include faith formation (children and adult), men’s and women’s ACTS groups, youth groups (in English and Spanish), St. Vincent De Paul Society, food pantries, JOY (Just Older Youth) ministries for seniors, pro-life activities, Knights of Columbus, sick and shut-in ministry, the bereavement committee, Altar Society, a hospitality committee, Grupo de Oracion, Quinceanera Platicas, parish nursing, Our Lady’s Guild, as well as many liturgical ministries. Many of these ministries are performed in both English and Spanish.

matthew2Due to the rapid growth of the parish, a large multi-use facility, the St. John Paul II Family Center, was constructed to accommodate functions serving several hundred people at once and includes large meeting spaces.

Most recently, the parish completed the construction of the Faith Formation Center which includes multiple classrooms, meeting spaces, offices and other facilities.

According to Msgr. Pappu, there is something for everyone to be involved in at St. Matthew’s and participation is in the life and mission of the Church is very rewarding.

“Our parish community is very familial, and at the same time, is open and welcoming to newcomers.”

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