The rosary leads Seminarian O’Steen to God

Seminarian Peter O'Steen (second from left) and fellow Seminarian Sebastian Barbosa-Garcia (far right) enjoy a retreat to Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Oklahoma, before the start of school. Also pictured is Ziemek Janaszek, a seminarian with the Diocese of Savannah. The man in the back is the sculptor of the tympanum. (Provided)

The Serra Club is working with The Catholic Miscellany to provide a series of profiles on the Diocese of Charleston’s seminarians. 

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla.—Peter O’Steen is a first-year theology student at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fla. His expected ordination will be in summer 2024.

Who is a person you admire and why?

I admire the late Father Marcin Zahuta. Among other things, he taught me how to preach truth in charity, the necessity of cultivating a relationship with our Blessed Mother, and the importance of approaching life with a good sense of humor.  

How did you discern the direction of your vocation?

In short, I discerned my vocation through prayer, reading scripture, and spiritual direction. During a low point of my life in college, I began to pray the rosary daily and I entrusted myself to Mary. The more familiar I grew with Mary, the more I came to love Christ in the Eucharist and in scripture. 

With the help of my spiritual director, Father Marcin, a call to the priesthood slowly became clearer. I could not have begun or persevered in my discernment without the prayers of others (especially my parents) and the example of holy Catholic men. 

What are the skills and talents you will bring to your vocation?

I enjoy ministering to young adults, especially to college guys. I can relate with many of their struggles and I find joy in bringing them closer to Christ by walking with them.  

Of the places you have travelled, which is your favorite?

I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to travel to Europe on a few occasions. My mom is from Croatia and some family members still live there. Of the places I’ve visited, my favorite is the Dalmatian Coast (of the Adriatic Sea). 

When you were 10 or 11, what did you want to be when you grew up?

At that time in my life I still wanted to play a sport professionally. The idea of priesthood never crossed my mind until college.  

What do you want people to remember you for?

I hope to be remembered as a man who continually dedicated his life as a living sacrifice to God the Father, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, through Christ, for the sake of His body, the Catholic Church.  

Name three words to describe you.

Thoughtful, pleasant, nostalgic.

What is the pastime that you are happiest doing?

I enjoy spending time with friends or family at the beach or lake, especially over some cold beers, and country & western music.  

What are some causes that you care about?

I care about life issues. I strongly support South Carolina Citizens for Life.  

What would you say would be your personal motto?

Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. (From Luke 1:38: dixit autem Maria ecce ancilla Domini fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. The meaning is, “And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.”)

The Serra Club of Charleston is a member of the USA branch of Serra International with the goal of nurturing vocations. Email Debra Dinolfo at