Thomas Searl, C.S.C.



Hometown: Wichita, KS

Year in Formation: Novice

High School: Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School (Wichita, KS), 2019

College: University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN), 2023

College Major: Management Consulting

Patron Saint: St Thérèse of Lisieux

Favorite Movie: The Hunt, Of Gods and Men, Margin Call, A Man for All Seasons

Favorite Books: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Story of a Soul by Thérèse of Lisieux, Till We HaveFaces by C.S. Lewis

Favorite Music: Morgan Wallen, Billy Joel

Hobbies: Cooking, running, reading

Most Memorable Prayer/Liturgy you have Attended: Holy Cross’ Ordination Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is always really special, especially when Gabriel’s Oboe is played during the laying on of hands.

Place of Pilgrimage you Most Want to Visit and why: Fatima. It is just slightly too far out of the way for me to have made it work before, but one day I really hope to see and pray at the site of those Marian apparitions.

Favorite Way to Pray: Ignatian/Imaginative prayer

Favorite Devotion: The Holy Rosary

What Drew you to Holy Cross: In high school I was discerning with my diocese, and on a visit to the diocesan seminary run by the Benedictines, I really thought that was where I was being called. I took some time to pray and reflect and ended up visiting Old College. On the visit, I fell in love with the community life and realized what I liked about the diocesan seminary and to an even greater extent about the Benedictines — the religious community. When I had an experience of Holy Cross in Old College, I very quickly realized the need it met within me.

Your Vocation Story: I was in a class in high school taught by a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This Sister elected to forego some classtime every day in order to have us pray in the chapel. After resisting for long enough, I began to use the time to pray and especially to consider my vocation. After a process of discernment with my diocese, I found Holy Cross and knew Jesus was calling me elsewhere. I made a visit to Old College and the community confirmed this feeling. Fundamentally, I think it was my attentiveness to where I felt at peace that led me here — Jesus gives us peace as a gracious gift, and learning where you are at peace is for me synonymous with vocational discernment.

Ways that you resonate with the Holy Cross charism, “Educators in the Faith”: I have always resonated with the charism of education in the faith. My upbringing consisted of strong education in the Catholic faith, and I have felt a call to continue in this rich tradition myself. Whenever the Church has grown strong, teachers and preachers have paved the way, and to serve Christ by educating mind and spirit is a beautiful vocation.

One aspect of Holy Cross spirituality that speaks to you the most and why: The aspect of Holy Cross spirituality that stands out most to me is the devotions to the members of the Holy Family. The special and unique devotions and patrons we all have are united under the Holy Family. The sometimes confusing history of Holy Cross is replete with examples of renewed devotion to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I feel that Christ calls Holy Cross into deeper internal unity as well as a deeper connection with those we serve through the model of the Holy Family.

Favorite Verse: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made.” – John 1:1-3

Favorite Quote: “Nothing will frighten it, neither wind nor rain, and if the dark clouds come and hide the Star of Love, the little bird will not change its place because it knows that beyond the clouds its bright Sun still shines on.” – St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Favorite Bl. Basil or St. André Quote: “The mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart.” – Bl. Basil Moreau

How can visitors to thispage pray for you? Please pray that I might seek stillness and silence to better hear the voice of God.