(Editor’s Note: Following is the next installment of the Herald’s monthly series profiling a priest or deacon who is serving in our diocese. This issue features a profile of Deacon Chuck Matzker, who is the liaison for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the Diocese of Colorado Springs.)
Deacon Chuck Matzker was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. After serving as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, he began his federal career in Portland, Oregon, with the Fish and Wildlife Service and then worked for the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C.
In 1981, he came to Fort Carson, where he served as the Director of Army Community Services and as a Federal Contracting Officer. He was married to Barbara that same year at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
It was while working in Washington in 1978 that Deacon Matzker prayed, “Lord, I have studied about you, and know theology, I have head knowledge, but I feel there is a great chasm between me and you. I know you intellectually, but I don’t know you in my heart. I want to experience you, to know you are real. Help me!”
God answered that prayer in a dramatic way during a Life in the Spirit Seminar at St. Thomas a’ Becket Catholic Church in Reston, Virginia. It was there that he was introduced to the reality of a present-day Pentecost, and to the Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church. His life changed forever.
Since then, he and Barbara have been working tirelessly to bring the grace of baptism in the Holy Spirit to as many in the Church as possible.
At the prompting of several people who told him he should consider being a deacon, he finally applied and was accepted into the permanent diaconate formation program. His diaconal formation took place in Denver; for five years he and his “study partner” Barb made the trip to Denver every other weekend. (Barb took all the classes and tests that Deacon Chuck did, and his class awarded her a certificate of achievement for highest GPA and “best homilist” — a great study partner indeed.)
Amid great joy, and humbled by God’s call on his life, he was ordained a deacon in 1999 by Bishop Richard Hanifen at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Deacon Matzker is currently assigned to Holy Apostles Parish in Colorado Springs. He and Barb have been working with the local, regional, and national Charismatic Renewal for over 35 years. He is presently the Bishop’s Liaison to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the diocese and serves on the National Steering Committee of the Association of Diocesan Liaisons.
According to “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services Doctrinal Commission, “This grace is a life-transforming experience of the love of God poured into one’s heart by the Holy Spirit, received through a surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ. It brings alive sacramental baptism and confirmation, deepens communion with God and with fellow Christians, enkindles evangelistic fervor and equips a person with charisms for service and mission.”
Deacon Matzker coordinates the Pastoral Team for the diocesan Charismatic Praise and Worship Ministry, gratefully housed at Holy Apostles, which conducts praise and worship meetings, Life in the Spirit Seminars, and other teachings and activities throughout the diocese and beyond to spread the grace of baptism in the Holy Spirit. He is also the first contact for the UNBOUND healing and deliverance ministry.
Deacon Matzker and his wife have four sons and a daughter. They have been blessed with 13 grandchildren, ranging in age from 7 to 23. These young people are the delight of their lives.
A scripture verse with special meaning for both he and Barb is Psalm 33:20-22.
We put our hope in the LORD; he is our protector and our help. We are glad because of him; we trust in his holy name. May your constant love be with us, LORD, as we put our hope in you.
(Those who feel that they might be called to a vocation as a priest or permanent deacon can contact Father Kyle Ingels at email@example.com or Deacon Chris Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.)