Two sons in seminary

North Texas Catholic
(Jul 8, 2024) Feature

The Segura family

Monica, Jesus, Jose, and Cruz Segura stand together in Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Mineral Wells. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

When Monica Segura looks back, God’s plan for her family is so clear.

“We’re told not to complete our will, but God’s will,” her husband, Cruz, agreed.

Parents to Jesus and Jose, both of whom are discerning their vocation in seminary for the Diocese of Fort Worth, Monica and Cruz Segura reflected on how the family has worked to open themselves to God’s will. 

Previous parishioners of St. Stephen Parish in Weatherford, the family moved to Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Mineral Wells shortly after their eldest son Jesus received his first Communion. 

At St. Stephen “the seed of faith was planted,” Monica said.  At Our Lady of Lourdes, the seed took root and flowered.

“We hadn’t engaged in prayer or anything other than attending Mass before,” Monica explained. “It wasn’t until we arrived here at [Our Lady of Lourdes] that we got involved with ministries and they began teaching us [to live an active life of faith]. They would teach us, and we would put the lessons into practice at home, all equally benefiting from it.”

Heart of service

Monica remembers feeling surprised the day her eldest told her he wanted to enter seminary. 

“What I saw, as his mother, was that at a young age, he liked to participate in activities with our priest, accompanying him in the Stations of the Cross or helping with the liturgy. Looking back, I think that’s when he started becoming more serious about his faith, but there was never a clear moment that I thought he was considering entering the seminary,” Monica said.

Growing up with parents who were open to embracing a life of faith and who welcomed that same openness in him was a great help, said Jesus. 

“It was a matter of being encouraged to go and look for things that I was comfortable with in participating in the liturgy,” Jesus said. “So when I was little, it was first altar serving, and as I grew up, I had the desire to be a lector, but there’s always a lot of fears that come with trying something new. 

“Little by little, I learned what I did well and what I did poorly, and what I did poorly, I wanted to do better because I found the desire to serve there and to serve well,” he continued. “I saw that there were times a job needed to be done, and I could do it. I just had to be confident that I could do it.”

His parents supported his going to events around the diocese that allowed him to explore the faith, the seminarian of five years said. Immersed in the traditions, theology, and wisdom of the Church, he gained a sense of wonder and love. 

“Coupled with the desire to serve, my love for the Church eased the decision to want to enter the seminary and consider priesthood,” Jesus said.

Come and See

With 18-year-old Jose, his interest in entering the seminary was a similar but distinct experience. Having struggled finding a passion in sports or other active hobbies, the teenager received a scolding from his loving mother that changed his mindset. 

“She told me, ‘OK, you don’t have to go [play sports], but tell me something that you are going to do that is going to be beneficial to you,” said Jose, who completed his first year in seminary in May. He recognized then that staying at home and spending his time carelessly wasn’t going to cut it. 

“I just needed to figure out how to find balance and not waste my time,” Jose said. “And that was [through] prayer, and that helped me a lot.”

Not long after that realization, he jumped on the opportunity to go visit his brother who was enjoying his first couple years at seminary by attending a Come and See vocational retreat. 

“Once I was there, and I finally got to witness what it was all about, it changed my view. Something I had no thought of — becoming a priest — was now on my mind,” he said.

When Monica picked Jose up from the retreat, she remembered how he “arrived with a face filled with emotion, saying ‘This is what I want.’”

“Many of us believe that the life of a seminarian is to be locked away in prayer. That’s what we think, those who aren’t familiar,” Cruz said. However, after Jose attended the Come and See weekend, he was able to understand how similar entering the seminary is to entering university, “but with more commitment and responsibility to the Church.”

Since entering the seminary, Jose has continued to find joy in prayer and cultivating a stronger relationship with Christ.

“It’s not really following my brother’s path, it’s carving my own path, the path that God wants me to go to,” Jose said.

Place of light, comfort

Whether their sons went to school or seminary, Cruz and Monica had already started preparing for a change as their kids grew older. 

With one son at St. Joseph Seminary in Louisiana and the other in San Antonio studying theology, the two parents are often asked if they struggle with the distance from their sons.

“I think that it’s not difficult because while it’s not easy that they’ve gone, I’m happy for where they are. At seminary, I’m at peace with the knowledge that they’re learning something about the Lord, which is the best,” Cruz said. “I don’t have them here with me, but they are in a good place learning what will help them for the rest of their lives.”

Segura, Jesus Segura, Jose Segura, brothers, seminarians, Diocese of Fort Worth, trending-english