Our seminarians at St. Patrick's Seminary have a common devotion to our Catholic faith, but are also a diverse lot with other different interests. Some are sports-orient, others pursue intellectual challenges, and yet others are artistic.
Seminarian Ramon Urbina of the Diocese of Oakland has had a life-long interest in the arts. Ramon talks about his interest, "My greatest passion growing up was comic books. I'm a diehard DC Comics fan, but I also love newspaper strips like The Far Side, The Wizard of Id, and Pearls Before Swine. After high school I enrolled in art school with the goal of getting into animation. The art scene in San Francisco was competitive and very secular, which didn't fit with my views on God."
He had reached a crossroads in his life and found his calling in Jesus and the sacraments. "I left wanting to do something more with my life, but having no alternative paths in life. But after a while I felt another tug in my heart to help people by bringing them God in the sacraments. I lived life selfishly as an artist, so I wanted to dedicate my life to serving others. I didn't just want to help people, I wanted to show them that God cares for us. The most concrete way God expresses His love is through the sacraments. I decided to enter the seminary, the place where average and unworthy men like me go to become priests who give sacraments to a world in need of reminders that God loves us."
At St. Patrick's Seminary, Ramon found a way to bring his love of God and artistic talents together. "After joining the seminary I stopped making art altogether. Academics can get heavy at the seminary and stress levels rise often, so to bring a little joy to my classmates I decided to draw a few cartoons of some of the humorous observations I had made around the seminary. I created a comic strip called Sems based on life at the seminary and Catholic culture as something only my fellow seminarians and I could laugh about. Eventually priests, professors, formators, employees, sisters, lay people (and even bishops!) expressed how much they enjoyed the humor in that comic strip. I'll never be a Michelangelo, but Sems is my small contribution to the world of Catholic art."
Ramon's Sems cartoons have brought a lot of joy at St. Patrick's Seminary and helped to relieve some of the pressures of seminary life. When the seminarians created their new podcast, St. Pat's Chat, Ramon created the logo for the new podcast. He also pondered what life with St. Thomas Aquinas may have been like (see below slideshow for both). We are blessed at St. Patrick's Seminary with many young men who can bright their unique talents to Christ's mission.
Please enjoy the slideshow below of some of Ramon's best art.