Father Robert Matzinger, CSB

Father Robert Matzinger, CSB died peacefully on September 21, 2022.  He was 93 years old and had been a member of the Congregation of St. Basil (Basilians Fathers) for 74 years and a priest for 65 years.

Father Matzinger was born in Houston on August 15, 1929, to Frank G. Matzinger and Marie Allison.  After graduating from St. Thomas High School in 1947, where he first met the Basilian Fathers, he entered Basilian Fathers Novitiate in Rochester, NY and was made first profession of vows on September 12, 1948. After completing his course work at Assumption College, he obtained a B.A. degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1952.  He taught for two years at St. Thomas High School before beginning his bachelor’s degree in Sacred Theology from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, Ontario.  He was ordained a priest on June 29, 1957.

After 20 years of teaching, being Athletic Director and coaching at St. Thomas High School, Fr. Matzinger began ministering in parishes – St Catherine, Houston, Sacred Heart, Manvel, St. Theresa, Sugar Land and lastly at St. Clare, Houston.

Warm and affable, Fr. Bob was much loved and respected by his students, the student athletes and parishioners wherever he was.  Fr. Matzinger was preceded in death by his parents, and two of his brothers, John and James.  He is survived by his older brother, Frank, and his wife, Jeanette, and his youngest brother, Thomas and his wife, Shirley along with many nieces and nephews.  He is mourned by his Basilian brothers and the many people whom he served over the years.  Fr. Matzinger suffered from dementia for the past several years.  Special thanks to Becky and Terry Sheehy who oversaw his care.

A concelebrated funeral Mass will be held at St. Anne Catholic Church on Tuesday, September 27 at 10:00 a.m.  Burial will take place at a later date in the Basilian plot at Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale.


  1. Pocivaj u miru.. g.michael rozmañ.

    G.michael rozmañ.
  2. Fr. Matzinger was a pivotal early influence on my life, and I only regret I never took the time to tell him so in person.He especially was a strong influence on my character and early basketball training as a freshman and sophomore at St.Thomas HS in ’60+’61. I went on to play college basketball all four years after winning state our senior year in ’63, and owe much of my “basic” training in basketball to his encouragement. Of all the wonderful priests that were a part of my early character development at STHS I hold Fr. Matzinger as the most influential. I’m saddening by his passing, and will certainly remember him in my prayers.

    R. Jeff Burns STHS '63
  3. Your Blessed our lives with your loving kindness and gentleness. You were also a wonderful leader of our Bible Study group in Clear Lake.
    My Tom went to Jesus three years ago, but I know you Two will meet again.
    May the Holy Spirit hold you tightly as you see Jesus face to face.

    Nan Linbeck
  4. Dr. Mercedes T. Sulit Sunday, 25 September 2022 6:15
    Fr. Bob has been my patient for so many years as his dentist. I truly enjoyed taking care of his teeth. He is a wonderful patient. He is also my spiritual director for many years when he was a pastor at Saint Theresa. During his time at Saint Theresa l serve under her supervision as Spiritual Director. I truly like him as older brother, friend. He is very good friend and very open minded and flexible. I truly missed him when he stop seeing me in the office because of dementia. I love him so dearly as my priest letting me cross the trials that l went through. May he Rest In Peace.

    Mercedes T. Sulit
  5. My thoughts and prayers to his family he will be missed I had the honor of having him as a instructor at St Thomas High School 1972-1976

    Andrew Caldwell
  6. Fr. Bob has been my patient for so many years as his dentist . I truly enjoyed taking care of his teeth.He’s wonderful patient always on time and happy. He is my spiritual director during the time that he was pastor at Saint Theresa sugarland and l also serve as SD during his time. He is very down to earth, understanding and flexible pastor. I truly missed him when he stop coming to my office because of dementia.He will be truly missed. May he Rest In Peace. God Blessed his soul.

    Dr. Mercedes T. Sulit
  7. I’m so sad to hear that my favorite priest has passed away. As a kid, I fondly remember him bringing a MacGruff the Crime Dog puppet to the lectern to capture the attention of other kids during his homily. He was hardly a ventriloquist, but it was incredibly endearing that he would have even thought to do this. It was amazing. Years later, when my parents, brother, and I began taking Communion together as one unit instead of one after the other, the four of us would stand side by side, and he would place the hosts in our hand, and cover it signaling that we wait until the last person had received theirs. He would then proudly but quietly say, “Altogether now,” and we would take it into our mouths in unison. All of my favorite moments at church were due to Father Bob, and the saddest day was when the Basilian Fathers had to leave, despite the community’s petition to have them stay. I have missed him since that sad day, and hope that he is fondly looking down at all of us who loved him dearly. Rest in peace, Father Bob.

    Trinidad Claire
  8. Rest in the peace of our Lord.
    Thank you for everything you did for the St. Theresa parish.

    Vernon Weinkam
  9. I had the privilege of working with Fr. Bob when he was pastor at St. Theresa Church in Sugar Land. Fr. Bob was a kind, gentle and generous soul, knew all parishioners by their first name. Fr. Bob loved to salt water fish. He could eat a sandwich and fish at the same time, never putting his rod and reel down and he would lament having to throw those big reds back into the water. He also loved nature and treated the staff with annual blue bonnet excursions which included driving down country roads, stopping to take pictures and a picnic lunch among the flowers. Thanks for these precious memories Fr. Bob and may God reward you abundantly for your faithful service to His people.

    Janice K Marek
  10. Father Bob was one of the kindest and warmest priest I had ever met. He encouraged my work with the youth of St. Catherine of Sienna. I loved him dearly.

    Patricia Matthews
  11. Fr Matzinger was the priest at St Catherine’s when we were holding Mass in Spring Oaks Jr High auditorium. I was part of the first group of altar servers. I ALWAYS rang the bells at the wrong time. Fr Matzinger would signal me with his foot so I would know when to ring them.

    A great man has his place in Heaven.

    Sean J Conti STHS ‘84

    Sean Conti
  12. Fr Matzinger was truly a great teacher and comedian, an easy going guy, and really a joy to be around. All of our classmates (Class of 1956) will truly miss him !

    Paul D Sofka
  13. I remember Fr Matzinger as my Latin teacher at STHS. He was such an affable character and was much respected by our class. He’ll be well remembered by many of us at St Thomas High.

    Mick Brown
    Class of 1968

    Mick Brown
  14. My prayers and thoughts to his family. He was a great teacher at Saint Thomas High School when I was there from 1972 to 1976. I have great memories of that time in my life and was very thankful to be there.
    Sean “WHALE” Wood

    Sean “WHALE” Wood
  15. During my years at St. Thomas I was blessed to know Fr. Mat. Yes, he let me call him that. He was my teacher and more importantly he was my friend. He was always available for consulting, a very important need for guys 16-18 years of age. I graduated from St. Thomas in 1961. God has brought him to Heaven to rest in ever lasting peace. Amen.

    Charlie Sicola
  16. Fr. Matzinger married my wife and I in 1986 and we are saddened to hear of his death. Fr. Bob was a one of a kind man and will be missed by all.

    Bob Skinner '80
  17. Fr. Matzinger was always on the sidelines at football games, leaving the coaching to the coaches, but he took control of the baseball team -leading us to 2 state championships my junior and senior years. One summer he had a dad coach the American Legion team, but still was a fixture as third base coach. Both he and I were ejected from the same game while playing in Regional finals in Tennessee. The Holy Spirit must have been with him to go from calling us “mullets” to encourage us in that twang speech of his to delivering great sermons in the various parishes that he served. He was truly a priest for all.

  18. Fond memories of a fine man. Never had a class with him, but he was a ubiquitous presence in the hallways at St. Thomas HS. Regards from the class of ‘65.

    Mike Burnett
  19. Fr. Matzinger was a “Mister Matzinger” when he taught me at S T H S (1956) and was my favorite of all the Novitiates that were on staff at that time. He was tough and didn’t stand for any horse play in class; in those days discipline was severe, but fair and always had time to listen regardless of the issue. A great loss of a great Priest, I’ll light a candle in his honor and memory at St. Luke’s Chapel in Temple, TX tomorrow.

    Patrick Callahan ’56 – Monday September 26, 2022

    Patrick Callahan
  20. Fr Matzinger was one of my freshman teachers at St Thomas. What a wonderful teacher and positive influencer he was on my life, and I know I speak for all the class of “63 when I say that he was, and still is, at the top of the list of fond, wonderful, fun, memories at St Thomas.

    Phillip Valenti
  21. Fr. Matzinger joins Frs. Cooper, Dugan, Riley, and Carl Alnoch, all passed, as some of the teachers I’m hoping to see when (and if) I make it to heaven. All had the patience of impatient men. Though they did not gladly suffer fools, they were none the less devoted to the enlightenment of young minds, even clowns and knuckle-heads like me. God rest your soul, you earned it Robert Matzinger.
    Tom Feehery, ’69

    Tom Feehery
  22. God Bless your soul Father Cousin,

    Cousin Jimmy Wead

    James Jimmy Wead
  23. I’m so sorry to hear this..Father Bob was the sweetest kindest priest I ever knew….he never judged anyone..he had a pure heart of gold…R.I.P F.r Bob…God has gained a wonderful angel…

    Julie Brodlowicz
  24. ++The Lord Bless You And Keep You.The Lord Let His Face Shine Upon You And be Gracious To You.The Lord Lift Up His Countenance To You And Grant You Eternal Happiness And Joy.+GOSPA.+Picivaj v miru.g.michael rozman.

    g.michael rozman
  25. I am saddened I was not aware of Father Matzinger’s passing. His dad worked for my dad at the Schuhmacher wholesale grocery company for many years in Houston. Fr Matzinger was my Homeroom teacher when I started St. Thomas High School. He loved teaching, and coaching at St.Thomas, and he also presided over the marriage ceremony for my wife and me at St. Michael’s Catholic Church on Sage road. He was dedicated to his, and all students of St Thomas High School. He will never be forgotten by me and the many graduates of St.Thomas High School. May he rest in peace.

    Richard Frazier

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