Riley Winstead

Second Theology

Theological College
Saint John Paul II Seminary
Christopher Newport University


I was born in Minot, North Dakota in 1994, but spent most of my life in Northern Virginia and Northern California. I grew up in a military family, and was baptized and raised Catholic. My dad instilled in me a love of reading, and I can frequently be found with a book in hand. I attended high school Freshman year at Faith Christian School in California, then moved to Trinity Christian School in Fairfax County, Virginia, where I graduated in 2012. I attended two years of college at Christopher Newport University (CNU) in Newport News, VA and then entered Saint John Paul II Seminary in 2014 as a seminarian while studying Philosophy at Catholic University of America.

My vocation story began in high school when I began to appreciate my faith more while taking a church history class, and when I read St. Augustine’s City of God and Confessions. From there, my appreciation of Catholicism grew into an appreciation of the priesthood, and I began to think and pray about the possibility of priesthood. The pastor at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Fr. John David Ramsey, also was affiliated with the Catholic Campus Ministry at CNU, and he helped me greatly in my discernment. Eventually, I met Fr. Boehling, and was encouraged to apply to transfer into seminary towards the conclusion of my Sophomore year at CNU.

Now I’m a seminarian for the Diocese of Richmond, and loving every awesome minute! I love reading, enjoying the occasional tv show or video game, and I frequently describe things as “awesome” when talking.

Quick Stats:

  • Favorite Book: Confessions by St. Augustine, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Dr. Brant Pitre, the Kingkiller Trilogy by Patrick Rothfuss, and the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
  • Favorite Saint: Saint Augustine of Hippo