To better get to know our new Advancement Director Bryan Fegley, we asked him ten questions about himself and his vision for Advancement at St. Patrick's Seminary. Please enjoy our short interview with Bryan!
Where are you from?
I spent most of my childhood growing up in Maine and then moved to the beaches of North Carolina during high school. After graduation, I attended North Carolina State University in Raleigh, receiving a BA in Religious Studies. During my time at NC State, I completed RCIA and entered the Church on the Easter Vigil in 2010. After college I spent several years in formation, studying as a seminarian for the Diocese of Raleigh and then with the Dominican Friars. After discerning that religious life was not my calling, I left formation and moved into fundraising for higher education. My most recent job was working at UNC Wilmington before moving to Menlo Park to work at here at St. Patrick’s Seminary.
What are you passionate about?
I love sailing! In college, I was on the sailing team and competed with other schools up and down the East Coast. Additionally, I had the opportunity to crew on the professional circuit, having raced on a Viper 640 in a few regattas. When choosing my confirmation saint during RCIA, I chose St. Erasmus of Formia, also known as St. Elmo, the patron saint of sailors. If you ever need someone to go out on the water with you, tell me when and where!
What’s the last book you read?
I am currently working my way through Ron Chernow’s biography about Alexander Hamilton. I love reading about history, particularly American and naval history. Being new to California, I am looking for recommendations for great books about the history of California and the West in general.
What’s your secret talent that no one knows about?
I know about half a dozen programming languages, having learned my first one when I was eleven years old. While I decided to pursue a liberal arts degree and career, I still enjoy programming as a hobby. I particularly enjoy using Linux and open-source software.
If you could visit any Catholic site in the world you’ve never been, where would you go?
There are many places that are on my list, but the top one would be the chance to go to the Holy Land. Being able to visit and experience the locations that are pivotal in the Bible would be incredible. I have heard that visiting the Holy Land adds a tangible, visceral layer to the Bible. I hope to make a pilgrimage there one day.
Which saint inspires you the most?
St. Thomas More has always been an individual that has influenced me. His integrity, deep faith, and voracious defense of the Church are particularly inspiring, given the current tensions between the Church and the secular world. I pray daily for his intercession that I may live an authentically Catholic faith life.
How did you become interested in working at a seminary?
Having been in formation myself, I understand the importance of having an environment that is conducive for spiritual, intellectual, human, and pastoral growth. Working at a seminary is an opportunity for me to give back to the Church for the gifts that I received during my time as a seminarian, and to help other men discern their vocation.
What attracted you to St. Patrick’s Seminary in particular?
When looking into St. Patrick’s Seminary, there were several aspects that made it appealing to me. The seminary is close to five dioceses, showing the potential to impact and support many Catholics in the Bay Area. Some other seminaries are located in more rural regions and cannot have such a direct impact on local communities. Additionally, the seminary has a strong academic reputation and spiritual foundation, which I want to help enhance though my work. Finally, the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley are known as being rather secular. It is a privilege to help St. Patrick’s Seminary succeed as an authentically Catholic institution in the midst of all of the worldliness around us.
What is your vision for advancement at St. Patrick’s Seminary?
With the 125th anniversary of St. Patrick’s Seminary approaching, I think it is important to ensure that the seminary has the resources to flourish for another century to continue to form courageous men of reflection and action who live joyous lives as priests. This mission is essential for the Church, both locally and universally, and I hope to find partners who want to help accomplish this mission — finding support for the various improvements needed as well as broad unrestricted support will help St. Patrick’s Seminary continue to form faithful priests throughout the rest of the twenty-first century.
Anything else you would like to add?
I am excited and humbled to have the opportunity to serve the seminarians, faculty, staff, priests, and the local Catholic community at St. Patrick’s Seminary. I look forward to meeting those who hold St. Patrick’s Seminary dear in their heart and wish to see it succeed.