God Loves You Just As You Are


Christ Came for All. Not Some, but All. We live His Mission of Love. Love of God, love of neighbor. Our doors are open to all. May you find Him here. May you bring Him out into the world as bearers of His love, His Mercy, and His forgiveness, to build up the Kingdom of God.

St. Matthew Welcome Booklet

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We’re delighted to have you join us today! Whether this is your first visit to St. Matthew or maybe you’ve been here for a while, we want you to know you are welcomed here.   No matter what walk of life you are coming  from, or what circumstances you may be facing, you can know one thing for sure: God loves you just as you are. He loves you more than you could possibly imagine. Our God is a loving God who wants only goodness for you. He may not change your past, but He can alter your future. He desires to know you and bless you throughout your life. When we trust Him to lead the way, we will discover the wonder of His creation filled with love, mercy and forgiveness.

The St. Matthew Parish Family is a great blending of God’s people united by faith – alive and vibrant. One cannot worship here or attend our many Parish functions without witnessing how our faith is nurtured. We live the Gospel through prayer and action. We strive to be a welcoming family and to make a difference in our world. Our ministries touch all ages, with many opportunities for spiritual growth and service in our neighborhoods and beyond.

It’s an exciting moment in our Parish history with our new state-of-the-art 18,000 sq-ft Recreation Center, The Msgr Walter Orlowski Center for Wellness.  A 7,000 sq. foot walking/running track…an 11,000 sq. foot gymnasium… a Center that offers four generations of parishioners Body, Mind and Soul Programs, and local college students a Newman Center Lounge. St. Matthew strives to be a more welcoming place for people to pray together, play together, work together…grow together…to find a safe home to get to know one another…to grow together.

This is just a brief introduction to our Church. If you have any questions, or would like to learn how to make this your Church home, just give us a call. We’re thrilled to have you here and look forward to getting to know you better!

Parish History

Saint Matthew Parish was founded November 14, 1957. Rev. James F. McGrath was appointed the first Pastor. On September 18, 1960, Rev. Bishop Lawrence J. Sheehan officiated at the Blessing of the Cornerstone and Dedication of the completed Spiritual Center for Saint Matthew. This building served various parish needs.St Matt

Fr. Leo Suwinski was appointed as second Pastor of Saint Matthew in June of 1963 and served the parish for 23 years until August 1986. With his guidance, in 1982, the permanent renovation of the Spiritual Center into a church took place coinciding with the celebration of the Silver Jubilee of the Parish. Fr. Leo also served as Chaplain of the Norwalk Fire Department and was a member of the Diocesan Priests Council. In September 1986, Msgr. Joseph Kohut was assigned as the third Pastor of Saint Matthew Parish. Many renovations to the church and grounds occurred during his eight years as Pastor. He put a steeple on the church building, and developed our beautiful Mount Saint Matthew into a shrine of devotion with a crucifixion scene, Stations of the Cross, and the Grotto to Our Lady.

In July 1994, our fourth Pastor, Msgr. Walter C. Orlowski, KCHS. arrived at Saint Matthew with great enthusiasm and energy. Under his leadership, on September 29, 1995, the groundbreaking for our new Parish Center became a reality with a Mass of Celebration officiated by Most Rev. Bishop Edward M. Egan. The dedication of the Parish Center took place on June 30, 1996. Our Parish Center has classrooms for our Religious Formation Programs, a Conference Room, Great Room for many meetings and parish celebrations, a large kitchen, nursery and the parish office—the hub of coordination for the many activities that make Saint Matthew a life-giving center for our parish family.

In late 2003, the church underwent an expansion, increasing the seating capacity and creating a family room that allowed families to more fully participate in Mass. On June 26, 2004 Bishop William E. Lori presided at the Rededication of St. Matthew Church.

On November 4, 2007 a Jubilee kick off Mass was held to celebrate Saint Matthew’s 50 year anniversary. There was a year long celebration with spiritual and social events, which concluded on November 15, 2008 with a Mass and gala.

On June 1, 2019, St. Matthew Parish celebrated groundbreaking for an 18,000-square-foot two-story Recreation Center that will feature a basketball court, indoor walking/running track and college lounge for a Catholic Newman Center Club.

“We’re building on what we already have, to give people the training space and programs they need to encourage health in body, mind and spirit,” according to Msgr. Walter C. Orlowski. “It’s all about creating a parish even more welcoming than ever before – one that can be the center of people’s lives. It’s all for the good, all for God’s people.” Proposed wellness programs include individualized and group sports training, meditation, mindfulness, Tai Chi, parent education and support, alcohol and drug prevention programs, and recovery support. St. Matthew is partnering with Norwalk Community College for the development of a Catholic Newman Club to serve the 40 percent Catholic student population at the college. The Club will be based at the St. Matthew Recreational Center and open to all NCC students. Newman Centers focus on strengthening today’s Catholic Young Adults in the faith during their college years.

On September 14, 2019,  St. Matthew celebrated the 25th Pastorate of Msgr. Walter C. Orlowski and 40th Anniversary of his Ordination to the priesthood. Bishop Frank J. Caggiano: “You, my friends, are absolutely blessed to have a true spiritual father who has been here nearly a quarter of a century. One who has guided, laughed with you, cried with you, walked with you, has come to love you – probably more than he could love anything or anyone else. You have responded to his vision because you have seen the genuineness of Msgr. Walter and what he wants: the best for you and for the Church.”

Fr. Jeffrey W. Couture was installed as our fifth Pastor, June 5, 2021, by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano. Under his tenure, Fr. Jeff oversaw the completion of the Msgr. Walter C. Orlowski Recreation Wellness Center and initiated Simple Exposition in a special Tabernacle in Our Lady of the Visitation Chapel, where the laity can open a shutter on the Tabernacle door for Exposition, and close the shutter when they leave. Fr. Jeff was given a six-month medical leave beginning January 1, 2023 and Fr. Francis (Frank) Hoffmann was assigned as Parochial Administrator. Fr. Jeff resigned as Pastor due to a chronic condition called Ankylosing spondylitis and presided over his last Mass as Pastor on June 11, 2023 with a joyful reception.

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano appointed Fr. Frank Hoffmann to serve as Pastor of St Matthew Church, effective July 1, 2023. In addition to serving as Parochial Administrator during Fr. Jeff’s medical leave, Fr. Frank concurrently served in his full time position as Vicar for Clergy and Religious in the Diocese of Bridgeport. Fr. Frank earned a Bachelor’s in Religion/Religious Studies from Fairfield University (1977), as well as a Master of Arts in Religious Study from Sacred Heart University, Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry (1990) from Seton Hall University, and Master of Arts in Theology/Theological Studies (1991) from Seton Hall University. Prior to his appointment as Vicar for Clergy and Religious, Fr. Frank served as Pastor of St. John Church in Darien from 2014-2020, and as Parochial Vicar at St. Catherine of Siena Church for nine years.

Saint Matthew Parish, which now numbers more than 3,000 families, has been fortunate to have the help and support of many volunteers and parish members who work tirelessly to carry out our Parish Mission.

Saint Matthew, Our Patron Saintstmatticon

Saint Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel.

He was the son of Alpheus, and was a tax collector by profession. While sitting in the tax collectors’ place at Capernaum he was called by Jesus to be an Apostle.

As a convert, Matthew’s purpose in this Gospel is clear: evangelize to the world that Jesus is the promised Messiah.

Drawing on the prophecies of the Old Testament, his Gospel is often referred to as the “Gospel of Kingdom.”

Saint Matthew is often represented by an angel or with a pen in hand. The statue of him mounted over the doors at the back of the church depicts him holding an axe, as defender of the faith.

Matthew is the patron saint of bankers, bookkeepers, accountants, and customs officers.

The feast of St. Matthew is on September 21.