School: Notre Dame Seminary
2901 S. Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118
My name is Patrick Creamer and I grew up about 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia, PA. I am the second of seven children in a Catholic family. As a kid, I loved sports and was very inquisitive and interested in the sciences. I got a job at around 13 years old working on small engines, and eventually started working on and building motors for street cars. I completed my undergraduate BS in mechanical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, worked briefly in oil and gas, completed a MS in engineering at Georgia Tech, and then worked on medical robotics prior to entering seminary.
What are your hobbies and interests?
My favorite hobbies include most anything active. I find great peace and enjoyment from running, biking, and swimming and often combine them to compete in triathlons. If I can do them surrounded by beautiful terrain all the better! I also have some musical background, although I do not play either the piano or guitar frequently anymore. But if I’m not studying or exercising, you will likely find me enjoying the company of friends over good food and drinks.
What is one of your favorite scriptures?
One of my favorite scripture verses is a tiny line tucked inside Mark. Early on in the ministry of Christ, when Jesus had just called His apostles and began working miracles and His teaching, Mark goes on to say: “When His relatives heard of this they set out to seize Him, for they said, ‘He is out of His mind.’” Mark 3:21. He is out of His mind. I love this verse for a couple reasons. Firstly, in our modern culture, Jesus can often be pushed as the gentle, kind, peaceful guy just trying to convince everyone to be nice to each other. Our secular society also tries to relegate the Christian faith to something personal that needs to be kept out of the public sphere. This verse turns that thinking on its head. Christ’s words and actions are so potent and counter-cultural that his own family thinks he has gone mad and set out to stop Him. But this is how we are called to live. We are called to live counter-culturally and to get right in the face of the culture, like Christ our head. Secondly, we all have a tendency to put constraints on God and how He acts in the world. But God can’t be put in a box, his family tried to do it and so do we. He is a lion, wild and free. We can never fully comprehend how God works nor should we ever doubt His power.
Who is your favorite saint and why?
My favorite saint is our Blessed Mother, Mary. As a child, I grew up with a great reverence for Mary, but she has especially guided me throughout my adult conversion to the faith, and all through my discernment in often incredible ways. Mary is the ideal of sanctity, to be perfect is to be like Mary. Mary never doubted, always trusted and followed, and was totally devoted to our Lord. We can learn more from our Blessed Mother about Christ than any of the other saints. I highly recommend St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary and consecration to Him through Her.
In a nutshell, what is your vocation story? How did you feel called to the priesthood?
When I started college, I was far from my faith and not practicing, but our Lord continued to work on me and draw me back to him. I had my personal conversion to the faith in the middle of my undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh. But it wasn’t until I began a PhD in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, that I started to honestly ask our Lord what he was calling me to. At the time, I was beginning to trust and believe at a deeper level that we have a Father who is intimately connected to every aspect of our life, who knows us better than we know ourselves, and desires our complete fulfillment. Consequently, I began to open myself up to, and pray about the priesthood, and consecrated myself and my vocation to our Blessed Mother. Over the next year our Lord continued to confirm that “I am with you in this”. Convinced that he was guiding me, I proceeded to leave my engineering program, pay off my undergraduate college debt working on medical robotics, and now enter seminary. I am very excited and grateful to finally be here!
What is seminary life like for you?
This is my second year in seminary, and so far so good! We seminarians are incredibly blessed to be here and to be provided with everything that we need so that we can focus ourselves completely on being conformed to partake in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ. I am incredibly thankful to the Church, Archbishop Hartmayer, Fr. Rey, and especially for the generous contributions and prayers of the lay faithful. Notre Dame Seminary is an incredible place of spiritual, intellectual, human, and pastoral formation. There are incredible men from all walks of life and backgrounds who our Lord has called here to walk together in fraternity and I am excited to study here.
What do you look forward to about being a priest?
Looking forward to the Priesthood, I look forward to teaching the faith and guiding people in their spiritual lives and offering to God beautiful Liturgies. It was the riches of the Catholic faith that encouraged me to delve deeper into our tradition and teaching and I hope to help bring those same riches to others. I also hope to bring to the lay faithful the same beautiful liturgies that drew me into the transcendental nature of the mass in our worship of God. Lastly, I am excited about the ability to bless and heal people, not as myself, but acting in persona Christi, so that it is not I who bless, but Christ himself.
What advice do you have for other guys thinking about the priesthood?
For anyone considering the priesthood, I would recommend three things. First, I would recommend praying and meditating upon the fact that you have a Father in heaven who loves you and wills to fulfill you in this world and the next, and ask Him definitively if He is calling you to the priesthood. Secondly, consecrate yourself and your vocation to Mary, as She will be imperative to guide you through this. And thirdly, if He seems to be calling you to the priesthood, do not let your fear and doubts get the best of you. Make a decision and move forward even if you don’t have all the answers. My spiritual director used to tell me that God can’t drive a parked car, and it’s true. If you want to know which way he is pulling the steering wheel (leading you), you have to put your foot on the gas, and you will figure it out very quickly!