Novice Noel Zamora professed his temporary vows as a Benedictine monk in a ceremony on August 6, 2018, at Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN.
He has completed his novitiate, a year of prayer and study of the Benedictine way of life. As is the custom during the profession of vows, he chose a religious name. Novice Noel is now Fr. Mateo.
Fr. Mateo, 41, is a native of Angeles City, Philippines. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Ateneo de Manila University in 1998. For two years, he was a college instructor at the University of Assumption before deciding to study for the priesthood.
He earned a Master of Arts in Catholic thought and life in 2004 and a Master of Divinity in 2007, both from Saint Meinrad School of Theology.
He was ordained a priest on May 19, 2007, for the Diocese of Lexington, KY. Fr. Mateo served at Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary Church, Holy Spirit Parish and University of Kentucky Newman Center, all in Lexington; St. Andrew Church, Harrodsburg, KY; St. Mary Church, Perryville, KY; Jesus Our Savior Church, Morehead, KY; St. Julie Church, Owingsville, KY; and Morehead State University Newman Center.
He also was a guest columnist for the Harrodsburg Herald from 2012 to 2015 and chaplain of the Morehead State University football team during the 2016-17 season.
At the diocesan level, he served on the school board (later renamed school council) from 2007-2012 and the presbyteral council from 2010-2015. He worked in the Lexington Tribunal, first as a case instructor and later as a defender of the bond. With the abbot’s permission, he will resume his part-time work as defender of the bond for the Lexington Tribunal.
In the monastery, he has been serving as the custodian of Mass intentions and juniorate guestmaster.
Temporary vows are typically for three years. This period offers a continuing opportunity for the monk and the monastic community to determine whether monastic life is, indeed, the right vocation for this individual.