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Rev. S. Matthew Gray, S’11, Named Vocations Director of Archdiocese for Military Services

Nicole Patterson

AMS feature

The Rev. S. Matthew Gray, Ch., Capt., USFA, S’11, has been named vocations director of the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS), USA. The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., AMS archbishop, announced Gray’s appointment, which will likely begin in August.

fr.-gray_photo-1.jpg“I’m really looking forward to this new opportunity to be able to minister to young men in discernment of this very special calling,” Gray said. “0.5% of the population now serves in the military. Of that percentage, 25% are Catholic and only 8% of the military chaplains are priests. In today’s world it is a rare thing to be a priest—but more so to be a military priest,” he added.  

Gray is currently director of vocations for the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina, while serving as Air Force staff chaplain to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Richland County, South Carolina. As of March, he was on deployment with his unit in the Middle East. He also serves as chaplain at The Citadel Military College and Charleston’s diocesan scout chaplain.  

“While at the Mount, I continued to discern my calling as a military chaplain. I remember the military vocation director coming each year and setting up shop in the kitchen/recreation room. I admired him for his courage in being both a priest and a military officer,” Gray said. “It wasn’t until after my ordination in 2011 that I decided to seriously consider joining. I took the leap in 2015 when I commissioned as a first lieutenant for the South Carolina Air National Guard and I have loved that ministry ever since!”  

In 2011, Gray earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Systematic Theology from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. He received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, in 2007, and a Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of South Carolina in 2005.  

The 41-year-old has completed training and certification in sexual assault prevention, domestic violence, youth protection, suicide intervention, conflict transformation and de-escalation and counseling. He’s also acquired military credentials including a secret security clearance and completion of basic chaplain training. He’s the recipient of the St. George Award, Bronze Pelican Award and Jerusalem Cross. Gray has also earned the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal in 2015 and the U.S. Air Force Achievement Medal in 2019.  

“I am looking forward to being the Military Archdiocese vicar of vocations because of my love for what I do in the military and because of the love of what I am: a Catholic priest,” Gray said. “To be able to share my love for the priesthood and for our military members is a perfect fit!” 

In his new role as AMS vocations director, Gray will guide young men who are interested in the priesthood and military chaplaincy as well as mentor prospective new priest-chaplains through the process of discernment and formation.  

“It’s an honor to be able to serve our military members. A priest, or any chaplain, is like St. Paul on a missionary journey. We meet our servicemen and women where they are in the environment they find themselves in—whether a combat zone at a FOB, an airbase, on a ship, or back safe at home. We are a visible sign of the holy bringing spiritual support while protecting their right to practice their faith," Gray said. “They are so welcoming of our presence among them because we live like them; experience the same difficulties as them; and yet we still bring them hope.”  


Nicole Patterson