Fr. Victor Seidel, S.T., discusses his 60 years as a Missionary Servant of the Most Holy Trinity with the type of nostalgia befitting someone who sees his calling as part of a greater whole. While he enthusiastically relays stories about his work with Trinity Missions, he brings his experiences into the context of its 100-year-old mission of preserving the faith among the spiritually neglected.
Much of Fr. Victor’s work in his early years revolved around media and communications, specifically bringing remote communities a resource for growing their faith. “I knew nothing about communications,” he admits, “but I had a natural tendency toward it.” In 1969, Trinity Missions helped him to attend a first-of-its-kind Catholic communications workshop in New Orleans. Fr. Victor took what he learned and brought it to his post in Wheeling, West Virginia. “We became one of the very first dioceses in the country to have a communications department, and we did some great stuff,” he says.
In addition to radio broadcasts, Fr. Victor helped to coordinate a three-part series on primetime TV, which reached Catholics throughout West Virginia, as well as Ohio and Pennsylvania. “We got some fantastic comments about what it meant to a lot of individuals,” he recalls. “We also won some national awards.”
As is true of every Missionary Servant of the Most Holy Trinity, Fr. Victor stayed at his position until there was greater need for him elsewhere. After his communications work in Wheeling, he helped with parishes in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina. “We do whatever we are called upon to do,” Fr. Victor says. He also found time in 1978 to produce and direct “An American Story,” a documentary that explained the history of Trinity Missions’ founding and ongoing service. You can watch part of the series here.
Now settled in Maryland, Fr. Victor chooses to respect the past while looking forward to the future. While the work of reaching the neglected and abandoned remains a constant, the faces doing the work are gradually changing, Fr. Victor notes, more fully representing God’s diverse kingdom. These priests and Brothers are warmly welcomed by Catholics hailing from the same countries and speaking the same languages, but they are embraced by everyone who sees in them the face of Christ. Looking at these men, Fr. Victor feels confident that Trinity Missions will continue to do good work into the next 100 years and beyond.
Please visit our Centennial website to learn more about the history of Trinity Missions.