Seminarian Eric Seitz from the Diocese of Fargo is eager to proclaim God's love and give young Catholics a moral compass.
What role did faith play in your family growing up?
I have three older brothers and a younger sister. We grew up moving around to various air force bases. While we were often in a state of transition, my parents did a great job of keeping Jesus at the center of our family life, providing a strong foundation.
Why did you join the seminary?
I first felt the call to the priesthood in seventh grade. I attended Catholic school, and one day we had a confession service. After my penance, the idea of becoming a priest popped into my head. Being young, I put the idea on the back burner. It resurfaced in my junior year of high school during a retreat I kept praying, and by senior year I knew. I now attend St Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Have you been involved in youth ministry?
I taught religious education for seventh-graders during my last year of college seminary. I enjoyed answering the tough questions those high-energy middle schoolers posed. It's important to give young people a coherent Catholic framework as they are learning about the world and making more decisions on their own.
What are your hobbies?
I love music: listening, performing and occasionally even composing. I participate in both musicals and choral groups in seminary. I love the outdoors: camping, fishing, hiking and hunting. I also enjoy playing sports.
What are the pressing needs in the Diocese of Fargo that you hope to address as a priest?
The most pressing need is furthering the new evangelization. Too many people leave the Catholic Church because they don't feel that they are being fed on the Word of God.
If more Catholics realized how deep God's love is for them - and what that means for how we ought to live - the impact would be huge. We need to get the word out.
Why are youth, campus and young adult ministries so important for the Catholic Church?
The Church can help young people to follow the example of Christ and to lead a life of discipleship. Young Catholics are the future leaders of the Church. How profoundly they are shaped early in life will impact their ability to lead. They are an important investment for us.
Catholic Extension has been supporting your and other seminarians' education in the Diocese of Fargo. What difference does that assistance make?
I am very grateful for Catholic Extension's help. If I had to work full time while in the seminary, it would be stressful. I would have much less time to study, pray and serve.
With your contributions, I am freed up to deepen my relationship with Christ.
We see the true universality of the Church when donors - who have never met me or ever been to our diocese step up to help. We are united.