During this year’s Annual Brothers Mass and Banquet, a well-loved and respected figure on the Chaminade campuses, Bro. Francis “Skip” Matthews, S.M. was honored with the Annual Brotherhood Award. Archbishop Jose Gomez and Bro. Larry Moen, C.M.F., presented the award, “Honoring Bro. Skip’s religious commitment to the service of the Lord as a Marianist Religious Brother and his faithful ministry in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles through education and outreach to the poor and the homeless.”
Bro. Skip Matthews is always a welcome sight at Chaminade. He offers a friendly, “Hello” to students, faculty, and staff; and takes the time to stop for a brief chat or in depth conversation with anyone and everyone.
At Chaminade’s Chatsworth campus, Bro. Skip can be found working in Campus Ministry. He substitutes, discusses social justice and supervises the cafeteria. Longtime Chaminade teacher, Joe Rauser says, “Bro. Skip has helped Chaminade by his very presence, his upbeat personality, and his interaction with all of the students and
faculty on both campuses…What makes him special is his honesty, openness, constant wittiness, and his obvious ‘Christ’ like nature. What makes him special is that he is ‘Brother Skip.’”
His ministry extends beyond his work at Chaminade – Bro. Skip volunteers at hospice and the Good Shepherd Shelter, a safe house for battered women and children. He also goes to Skid Row twice a week to help the homeless and spend time with them. For the past 20 years, from December 1 to 24, he has set-up a table with cards so that the homeless can write to their families and loved ones. About 1,000 Christmas cards, donated primarily by Chaminade students, are sent out.
In his early ministry, Bro. Skip served in health care when he directed the Marianist Infirmary in Honolulu. Ten years later, he became a paramedic at a remote medical facility in Zambia. He has also assisted at the Matero Boys Secondary School in Lusaka, Zambia. Bro. Skip was raised in Manhattan Beach, California. He graduated from Junipero Serra High School, and professed his first vows in 1959, in Santa Cruz. He studied with the Brothers of St. John of God at their Los Angeles hospital, and learned the fundamentals of nursing and caring for the elderly. In 1962, he made perpetual profession in the Society of Mary.