I am from Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk, NE. My parents are Vern and Mary Seier. I attended school at Sacred Heart Elementary and Norfolk Catholic High School. Upon graduating from high school, I attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I graduated with high distinction with a degree in biological systems engineering and a minor in biomedical engineering.
During high school, I was involved in choir, quiz bowl, Nebraska Future Problem Solvers, and golf. I also joined the bowling team and show choir during my senior year. I enjoy camping, hiking, canoeing, and bike riding. I also enjoy reading (including the magazines Popular Science and Discover), playing cards, and playing board games with friends.
I became an altar server in 5th grade simply because I wanted to give back to God for all He had done for me. It was around this time that family and friends started telling me that I should think about becoming a priest or that they think I would make a good priest. At the time, I was fairly resistant to the idea. As the years passed, I had received the Serra Altar Server Award and I had helped out at several of my parish Corpus Christi processions as an altar server. I attended the March for Life in Washington D.C. all four years of high school and I attended a Steubenville Conference in 2013. During my junior year of high school, I became a peer minister and helped facilitate class retreats. Upon graduating from high school, I still wasn’t sure what exactly I would be studying in college let alone what my long-term goals were. I just knew that whatever my career ended up being, I wanted it to be something in which I knew I was making a positive impact in people’s lives. I thought that given my interest in science and my success in academics, God was calling me to use my talents to help people through a career in something such as healthcare or engineering. In the back of my mind, I had a feeling that God might be calling me to be a priest, but I reasoned that the talents He gave me seemed to line up with a career in healthcare or engineering. After all, what better way to use my academic abilities than to help solve medical and/or engineering problems, which could help countless people? Based on this logic, I just kind of assumed that marriage and family life was my vocation (that’s what I hoped anyway). But I never really gave the priesthood a chance, partly because I was afraid of the answer.
In college, I kept praying about my vocation, but I wasn’t really open to the answer unless it fit what I had in mind. I attended SEEK three times, but it was the most recent SEEK2019 that really affected me. Having just graduated from college several weeks prior (still without any real idea what I would do next with my life), I asked God for guidance, but also I just wanted to receive whatever gifts He wanted to give me through my experience at SEEK. “Ask and it will be given to you.” SEEK2019 was fruitful for many reasons. I realized that I had only let God be a part of my life (an important part, but just a part) rather than making Him the center of my life. I realized my priorities were out of order and I came away with a new outlook. The pivotal moment of my SEEK experience occurred in the adoration chapel one evening after one of the keynote speakers. St. Jean Vianney’s incorrupt heart was on display for veneration. As I waited in line to see his heart up close, I had my own heart-to-heart conversation with Jesus. The thought that I might be called to the priesthood had been brought to the surface again by some of the talks I heard. I laid everything out before God – my thoughts, fears, anxieties, and ambitions about my vocation. Why would You call me to be a priest? I’m not a very good public speaker. I have a desire to get married and have a family. You’ve given me many intellectual gifts, so that I am able to succeed in advanced math and science courses. Shouldn’t I be using my academic talents to help care for others’ physical well-being? What could be more important than a person’s health? Then I felt God’s rebuttal. As important as it is to care for people’s physical health, how much more important is it to care for people’s spiritual health? I couldn’t argue with that. I let myself be completely open to God’s plan for me, and I felt a great sense of peace. I know that God’s plan for me is infinitely better than anything I could ever dream of myself. I want to do God’s will and not my own, for it is only by doing God’s will that I will be the most joyful and fulfilled in life.
My advice for anyone struggling to figure out their path in life is to take refuge in God. Pray about it with an open mind and do not be afraid of the answer, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jer 29:11).