Petition recommends Seagrave for sainthood status

Beloved priest and Riordan alumnus could be school’s first saint


Supporters of Fr. Seagrave are seeking sainthood for him.

Brandon Vargas ’20, Copy Editor

Fr. Thomas Seagrave’s priestly service of more than 40 years, along with his outreach in the Bay Area, earned him the honor of receiving Archbishop Riordan High School’s annual Chaminade Award in 2011. Now, a group is seeking his canonization.

Canonization in the Catholic Church refers to the official admission of a deceased individual into sainthood. His generous deeds and sacrifices make him a valid candidate for canonization.

Fr. Tom, as he was referred to, was born on April 30, 1942 in San Francisco and died on Dec. 18, 2015 in San Mateo. He grew up in Bernal Heights in the Mission District of San Francisco, and he went on to attend ARHS.

Shortly after graduating in 1960, he attended seminarian school and was ordained May 17, 1968 by Archbishop Joseph T. McGucken. He worked at several parishes, including St. Peter’s (1976-1985), St. Paul’s (1985-1992), and St. Emydius (1994 -1995), among many others, before retiring in 2011 because of health concerns.

Miguel Bustos ’89 came up with the idea to seek Fr. Tom’s canonization at his funeral. At the funeral, Bustos noticed that Fr. Tom “…has touched so many people’s lives.”

Fr. Tom, according to Bustos, “met people where they were.” Bustos added, “He was just a humble priest just wanting to do God’s work, and that’s it.”

Fr. Seagrave’s efforts and commitments to the Catholic Faith are perpetuated at ARHS as well, as the Chapel is named in his honor.

Fr. John Jimenez, who served with Fr. Seagrave for two years at the Church of the Visitacion, speaks highly of Fr. Tom. “Fr. Seagrave was a person who put himself out for people,” Fr. John said.

According to Fr. John, Fr. Seagrave would make every effort to comfort families in need. “He took his old Volkswagen 1978 Beetle… and went to visit this family in crisis… hours later, in the quiet of the morning around 3 am, I hear his old, red Beetle rattle into the driveway, he comes inside and goes to bed,then gets up a few hours later and says 7 am Mass,” Fr. John mentioned.

“What made him so great,” said Bustos, “was that he truly believed in people… He believed in you even if you didn’t believe in yourself.” Fr. Seagrave’s dedication to not only the Catholic Church, but to his community, demonstrates the level of compassion he had for everyone he met.

One of the requirements of canonization is to have three miracles attributed to the individual who is nominated for sainthood. Bustos stated that there was one instance in which a sick woman prayed to Fr. Tom and recovered the next day. Though this may only be a slight instance of a miracle, Bustos and the group of supporters soon hope to discover more miracles.

Bustos plans to send in documents, testimonies, and stories of Fr. Tom from other people to the Vatican by Dec. 1, 2020. He encourages everyone who knows Fr. Tom to send in documents that support the campaign for canonization.

According to Bustos, Fr. Tom “would never want this.” However, Fr. Seagrave’s obvious commitment to those in need serves him well in the efforts to achieve canonization for him.

Fr. John said, “His work was the service of people, to help them have hope in the Lord.”