Seth SeamanPastoral Year
Old Dominion University
Hey there! My name is Seth Seaman and I am a seminarian with Diocese of Richmond.
I was born in a small town in Pennsylvania and lived there with my parents, Lon and Veronica, and my brother, Shane, for several years as a youngster. Although I was baptized in the Catholic Church when I was just a few months old, our immediate and extended family did not have a very active faith life. Although we were taught to pray as children, we did not go to Church much. In fact, I could probably count the number of times that I went to Church throughout all of my childhood and teenage years on my one hand. During this time of my life, I would definitely say that I was Christian, but I was exceedingly immature in the faith and had very little intellectual formation with respect to the basics of Christianity.
We moved around a little while I was growing up. When I was nine years old, we moved to Hampton, VA and I have considered it my hometown ever since. I grew up there and lived life as a normal kid. Things changed for me drastically one day when I was seventeen years old, however. On just a normal day, for no particular reason that was apparent to me, the Lord decided to make Himself known to me in a very powerful way. As I was standing in my room, the Lord spoke to my heart. He something to effect of “Seth, you call yourself a Christian, but you don’t know anything about me. Get to know me!” I had never experienced anything like this, and didn’t even think God did that kind of thing. As I thought about what I should do, I supposed that the Bible was probably a good place to learn things about God. So, I went through my house and eventually found a small pocket New Testament in a drawer. As I read it, I was enthralled with the story of Jesus and His disciples. I had heard about these stories before, but I had never engaged with them myself. The Lord worked powerfully in me through His Word, but I did not see the need for the Church. I honestly thought it was good for some folks, if they needed that sort of thing, but it wasn’t for me. After about five years of reading the Bible every day, I became convinced from Scripture that Church attendance was a good and necessary thing in the life of a Christian. I would now have to try and figure out how to transition into the life of Church.
Because I was baptized in the Catholic Church and always thought it was beautiful, I first desired to go back to my Catholic roots. However, when I did some research online (emphasize online!!) I came to the conclusion that the Bible and the Catholic Church did not complement one another. In fact, I came to the conclusion that they were at odds! As a result, I began to research other traditions. After looking at the Eastern Orthodox, the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists and others, I discovered a fellow by the name of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church. I was greatly attracted to a number of things within this community of Christians and began attending their local services. Very quickly I was volunteered to help lead various Sunday school classes and youth groups. I even began going on mission trips to Central America. Around this time I graduated from Old Dominion University and began working as a Design Engineer (I designed pressure vessels, heat exchangers, and other large metal weldment-fabrications). After working there for a few years, I realized that, although I was very happy working in the engineering field, I wanted to give all of my time, energy and focus to the Church. With the encouragement of many wonderful people, I decided to go to a Methodist seminary with the hopes of becoming a pastor one day.
I went to Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY. It was an amazing place full of extraordinary people who truly sought to grow in their faith with the Lord. I absolutely loved everything about it. Interestingly, as I was there, a number of barriers that had existed between me and the Catholic Church began to crumble. I had always thought the Catholic Church was amazingly beautiful, but certain ‘truth-barriers’ existed between me and it. Through my studies about the early Church, the sacraments, philosophy, and many other things, my misunderstandings about the Catholic Church were being corrected, and the barriers were falling. As these barriers fell, the beauty of the Catholic Church shined brighter and brighter, and its beauty pulled upon me with greater intensity. It was a very difficult and spiritually painful time for me. I was being stretched between two opposing sides. Eventually, during my fourth year at Asbury Theological Seminary, I was confronted with only one final truth-barrier that was left unbroken: the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It took me a very long time to properly understand this dogma, but even this final barrier was eventually shattered as well. As a result, I was left with a very difficult question to answer: do I remain on my present path with the Church-community that I love and have worked so hard to become a leader in, or do I go off and try this crazy, new, scary, amazingly beautiful and apparently true path? You may have guessed which one I chose (…I chose the Catholic Church!), but it was not easy. To say it was a gut-wrenching process would be an understatement. Nevertheless, the Lord was with me, supported me, guided me, and helped me through it all. He also gave me the support of a wonderful Catholic spiritual director and some great friends to walk with me through it all. After four years of studying at Asbury Theological Seminary, I graduated with a Master of Divinity degree, and a few months later I was confirmed in the Catholic Church. Praise the Lord!
I am now a seminarian with the Diocese of Richmond and feel amazingly blessed. I can certainly say that I would not be where I am today without the Lord’s continual guiding hand operating in my life. It is my sincere hope that one day the Lord will empower me to be His evangelist and priest so that I may help connect others to His love, His joy, His peace, His goodness, His truth, and His beauty. I ask that you help me in this endeavor through your prayers. May God bless you as you seek to follow His calling in your life.
Favorite Book: The Bible
Favorite Book of the Bible: 1 Peter
Favorite Non-Biblical Book: The Master Plan of Evangelism by Dr. Robert Coleman
Favorite Saints: St. Peter & St. Anselm of Canterbury
Home Parish: St. Joseph in Hampton, VA