ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Clerical collars and classic cars don’t immediately jump to mind as a natural pairing.
But one Gallup priest’s youthful passion for muscle cars led to a project that brought the town together in a unique fundraising effort to help educate young men to follow their calling to serve in the church.
The Rev. Matthew Keller left his grease monkey days behind when he took the cloth, but he always remembered that ’64 Malibu he and his dad worked on when he was a teen in Bloomfield.
Fast forward a few years and he’s rector of the cathedral in Gallup, a diocese that’s struggling to find enough priests to serve its many parishes.
For those called to the priesthood, training is a long and expensive process requiring a four-year bachelor degree followed by several years of graduate-level study at a seminary out of state. New Mexico has no Catholic seminary.