Fr. Matthias (Matt) Feit, founding pastor of St. James the Greater Parish in Glendale, and retired pastor of two other parishes, died March 31. He was 95. Fr. Feit was born Sept. 8, 1923 in Chicago to Matthias J. Feit and Mary Susan (Treinan) Feit. After serving his country in World War II, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists) July 2, 1956 in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
Fr. Matthias “Matt” Feit
Born: Sept. 8, 1923, in Chicago
Ordained: July 2, 1956, in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, for the Redemptorists
Incardinated: September 1977
Service in the Diocese of Phoenix
- St. Gregory, Phoenix
- St. Theresa, Phoenix
- Most Holy Trinity, Phoenix
- St. James the Greater, Glendale (founding pastor)
- Holy Spirit, Tempe
- St. Elizabeth Seton, Sun City
- Mount Claret Retreat Center
Died: March 31, 2019
Tom McGuire, director of Mount Claret Retreat Center where Fr. Feit spent his retirement, noted that as a Redemptorist Fr. Feit taught now Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark when the latter was in high school.
Fr. Feit first came to the Diocese of Phoenix in 1974, and was later incardinated into the diocese in September 1977.
In the diocese, he served as a parochial vicar at St. Gregory, St. Theresa and Most Holy Trinity Parishes, all in Phoenix. He was appointed to serve as the founding pastor of St. James the Greater Parish in Glendale in 1982. This was followed by a stint as pastor at Holy Spirit Parish in Tempe and St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Sun City, before retiring in 1993.
Fr. Feit was “lovingly remembered for his beautiful homilies and gentle kindness,” according to his obituary. “He enjoyed spending time and sharing meals with his family and friends.”
He moved into Mount Claret Retreat Center in 2006 along with his long-time friends Fr. John Hanley and Msgr. John McMahon. At the retreat center, Fr. Feit remained active assisting retreat groups by celebrating Mass and hearing confessions.
“Msgr. McMahon convinced Fr. Matt that he needed to attend a Cursillo weekend,” recalled McGuire. “So, in his mid-80s, Fr. Matt completed his weekend and continued to meet with his new Cursillo brothers on a weekly basis.”
In retirement, Fr. Feit celebrated daily Mass once a week for the Catholic residents at the Kivel Campus of Care.
“This was typical of his loving and compassionate reach out to all,” McGuire said. “In his later years when he would not be able to say a public Mass, he faithfully said Mass in his home. Always part of his day was the reading of the Liturgy of the Hours.
McGuire also remembers Fr. Feit watching sports or old black-and-white westerns.
“He knew all the actors by sight.”
Fr. Feit is survived by his sister Mary (Feit) Golden, his brother John Feit, many cousins, nephews and nieces. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to stvincentdepaul.net.