The weatherman pursues his vocation with complete support from friends and family.
Craig Ziobert, a weatherman from Ohio, has announced that he’ll be leaving his job at WKBN to join a seminary at the end of August. Though it might seem a strange career transition to many, it hasn’t come as a surprise to those who know the 31-year-old.
Ziobert spent his school days in the Catholic school system, served as an altar boy for years, and even learned the organ in his parish when he became a high school senior. The meteorologist also had mixed passions, studying for a bachelor’s degree in music and religious studies at Youngstown State University, and then obtaining a bachelor’s in meteorology from Mississippi State University.
And while Ziobert’s been looking up to the heavens throughout his career as a meteorologist, in just a few days he’ll be returning to his past interests by entering St. Mary’s Seminary in Wickliffe, Ohio.
In an interview with Patty Knapp for the National Catholic Register, Ziobert shared which people had proved fundamental in helping him make this life-changing decision. The late Bishop George Murry, who was his diocesan bishop for 13 years, had a profound effect on him:
“I was, at the time, already considering a vocation to the priesthood, and mentioned that to him as he came to our diocese. He instilled in me pastoral leadership skills and his warm personality attracted me more and more to the call, but I still had some reservations as well as other interests in life I was thinking about at the time,” Ziobert explained.
He continued: “His death [in 2020] was a major pivotal moment in my life because I felt a sense of loss and emptiness. His death made me realize I may still yet have a higher calling, even though I was fulfilling many of my other life dreams, which Bishop Murry was also excited for.”
Ziobert also shared how his parish priest, Msgr. Michael Cariglio, whose “example has shown forth so vividly in my life” has also had a profound effect on his decision. As the priest who baptized him and gave him his First Holy Communion, Cariglio has been his “closest mentor.”
However, Ziobert, stresses that all the diocesan priests he has encountered throughout his life have impacted him in a positive light.
Thankfully he has also received an overwhelming amount of support from his friends and family, even those who come from different religious backgrounds, who see his entering the priesthood as a natural decision.
“My TV work family was through-the-roof excited for me!” he shared, while also pointing out that his best friend (a Lutheran) believes this to be the “perfect calling” for Ziobert.
So, with the overwhelming support of friends, colleagues, and family, the meteorologist can answer his calling while also lending his musical talents to the seminary. And maybe he can use his gifts for reading the skies to let his fellow seminarians know when they might need to go out with an umbrella!