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Endorsements

As a veteran teacher and administrator in Catholic schools for 39 years, I have never met anyone quite like Matt. He was passionate, clear, engaging, faith-filled and personal with our faculty/staff at our retreat. With vigor, enthusiasm and a love for God, Matt surpassed anything for which we had hoped. His preparation and faith was obvious, his transparency regarding his own struggles and triumphs in high school ministry, and his willingness to listen, all proved that we made the right choice in contracting with him. He connected with our faculty, administrators and staff and witnessed with a deep sense of love for those we serve - our students. We are profoundly grateful that he led our retreat in November and plan to invite him back in the future.
— Deacon Jim Fish, Director of Campus Ministry, Bellarmine College Preparatory (Tacoma, Wash.)
Matt Emerson is a Catholic educator who inspires, promotes reflection, and leaves his audience with an admiration for his work. Matt understands Catholic education, and I might say education in general, like few do. In both appearances I have participated in, Matt tailored his work to the needs of the audience. His presentations were clear, understanding, thematic, and on topic throughout. Ample time was used for the audience or group to reflect, dialogue, and share in whole and small settings. I highly recommend Matt Emerson as a keynote speaker, a retreat facilitator, a workshop presenter, commencement speaker, or any venue looking for an inspiring Catholic speaker. His unique ability is without question among the best I have ever encountered. He is a true blessing to Catholic schools.
— Russ Antracoli, Principal, Central Catholic High School (Modesto, CA)
Matt Emerson is outstanding. I was lucky enough to hear him speak at a focus group I attended. He delivered a confident and creative presentation that revealed his intimate understanding of the Bible and its relevance in our daily lives. His faith is deep, and contagious. He inspired us all to connect to biblical truths on a deeply personal level, flawlessly bridging those truths with our purpose for meeting, and setting the tone for a successful and purpose-driven event.
— William Dugan, Founder/CEO The Lead Group
Matt Emerson joined our faculty and staff at the start of the 2015-16 school year for our annual one day retreat. We had come off a very challenging year and wanted to kick the new year off with someone who could inspire and lift us in better understanding and enacting our mission. Our theme for the new year is ‘Building Champions with Character and Integrity’ and I can not think of anyone who could have addressed our Mission and Theme better than Matt. He has a calm demeanor coupled with a real passion for his faith that brought great joy to our staff. We came away that day with a real vigor to kick off the new year. I offer my sincere appreciation and gratitude to Matt Emerson for the day he spent with us.
— Jim Pecchenino, President, Central Catholic High School (Modesto, CA)
Matt Emerson ably takes his audience to what seems to be a well-known theological setting where he repackages the familiar to allow the audience to see it new. With a calm and authentic voice, his audience is treated to an exciting journey to a richer understanding of our relationship with God and neighbor. Mr. Emerson is an exciting new Catholic author and speaker, whom I dare say, will become a most sought out thinker and writer regarding the inner dimension of the soul. Five thumbs up!
— Edwin J. Hearn, President, St. Augustine High School (San Diego, CA)
Matt offers great insight and wisdom for all Catholic educators. He effectively engages his audience with a series of powerful movements and Gospel reflections. He draws you into deep theological discussions, he shares meaningful faith-filled stories and presents several relevant video clips to emphasize the Gospel message. Overall, Matt has been one of the most memorable and knowledgeable retreat speakers for our school staff retreat in the last 15 years I have worked here.
— Tanya Velazquez, Theology Chair, Central Catholic High School (Modesto, CA)
Matt leaves his listeners with a deep sense of the authenticity with which he engages a topic; leaning into the provocative questions, ruminating on his personal experience, embedding his thinking in a context of a Catholic worldview and Jesuit/Ignatian sensibilities. Matt aims to invite his listeners into the question(s) at hand in a spirit of companionship, recognizing his own identity as a person on the way, while knowing he has been given a gift that allows him to invite, provoke, and encourage. Matt’s writings and presentations can serve to animate faculty and staff days of prayer or retreat, educational leadership formation, faith formation, teaching and more.
— Ann Holmquist, Ed. D., Asst. Principal for Mission and Ministry, Co-Director of the Office for Adult Spirituality, Loyola High School (Los Angeles, CA)
Matt Emerson exemplifies spiritual richness and intellectual depth. He is thoughtful and authentic, listens carefully and is highly effective in creating a climate of candor and kindness. Matt gently helps people get to their real selves and express their real perspectives. He is a highly effective communicator, facilitator and leader.
— Timothy Sullivan, President, Board of Directors, Xavier College Preparatory (Palm Desert, CA)
Mr. Emerson exudes passion for teaching. It is a passion that enlivens the classroom and engages students like myself. It is a passion that allows him to convey the lesson in a way that is meaningful and that resonates. He drew my classmates and me into the material and subsequently opened us up to question our own respective faiths and what it means to be a young Catholic in the 21st century. He made scripture relevant while simultaneously giving us the skills to enter texts more fully. It quickly became evident to me through Sophomore Scripture and then again in Senior Synthesis that Mr. Emerson’s teaching goes beyond the classroom, giving students a new and energizing perspective as well as the skills for continued exploration.
— Isabella Bianco, University of Notre Dame, Class of 2017
As a faith formation facilitator, Matt has the uncanny ability to combine story telling with religious content, which puts his audience at ease, thereby opening the door to self-awareness and sharing. His non-confrontational ability to listen and validate all thoughts, while asking thought provoking questions, brings humor and genuine concern to group settings.
— Alan Bruzzio, Principal, Sacred Heart Catholic School (Palm Desert, CA)
Matt hit all the right marks for our Faculty Day of Prayer. He chose an engaging theme that called us to a deeper level of personal authenticity and communal commitment to our Catholic, Jesuit identity. Matt is obviously a gifted teacher. Weaving stories from his personal and professional experience with references to Scripture and Church tradition, his presentations facilitated a spirit of prayer and reflection for each of us that day. He was insightful but not didactic, self-reflective but not self-indulgent, and prepared yet also attentive to the movement of the spirit throughout the day
— Bob Ryan, Principal, Brophy College Preparatory (Phoenix, AZ)
Matt presented at a retreat for our principals on the teaching of religion in Catholic schools, and he speaks as well as he writes - with an engaging style and a good grasp of the topic and the audience. He is a resource for programs of professional development of teachers and school leaders.
— Rev. Stephen C. Rowan, Ph.D., Superintendent for Catholic Schools, Archdiocese of Seattle
I’ve seen Matt Emerson present to various audiences, and am impressed at the ways in which he relates meaningful content to the particular context of each audience. Matt doesn’t show up with a canned talk or program. Rather, he assesses the needs of those in attendance ahead of time, internalizes the focus or theme of the gathering, and then seamlessly connects content with context in a rich, engaging, and personal presentation or formation experience. Furthermore, Matt infuses his presentations or formation experiences with a deep knowledge of Catholic and Jesuit heritage that leaves us feeling not only enlivened in and connected to our faith in new or deeper ways, but also feeling as if we’ve either learned something new about our faith or ourselves, or ultimately both. These are the hallmarks of good faith formation and professional development.
— Seamus Walsh, Assist. Principal for Curriculum and Instruction, Brophy College Preparatory (Phoenix, AZ)
Your presentation was inspiring and the best part about the conference! Thank YOU! Your students are lucky to have you.
— Participant, National Catholic Educ. Assoc. Regional Meeting (from post-conference anonymous survey)
I thoroughly enjoyed [Matt’s] keynote and thought the ideas presented were so helpful to ministry with young adults. I am so grateful to have heard it.
— Participant, National Catholic Educ. Assoc. Regional Meeting (from post-conference anonymous survey)
Your presence in delivery was approachable and authentic. You are very affirming of the beautiful but challenging as well as evolving work of ministry and theology with high school students.
— Participant, National Catholic Educ. Assoc. Regional Meeting (from post-conference anonymous survey)