Patrick Costello

Patrick CostelloParish: St. Margaret Mary Parish, Neenah

Birth Date: April 15

Seminary: Mundelein Seminary | Archdiocese of the Military Co-Sponsorship Program

Seminary Address:
1000 E Maple Ave
Mundelein, IL 60060-1967

Pre-Theology II


Patron: St. John

Proclaim the Good News:
Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. (John 17:3)

Tell us about a great experience that you had during the summer of 2016.
At a family reunion I was able to meet my oldest living priest relative, my grandfather's cousin Fr. Martin Hall. He is 89 years old and a senior priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island, New York. It was so delightful to sit with him and talk about priestly formation and his experiences in priestly ministry. At the end of the reunion Fr. Marty gave me his priestly blessing and he prayed over me to grow more deeply in love with God. In a real way it felt like a spiritual passing of the torch.

When did your commitment to the Catholic Faith grow deeper?
Sometime early in high school I came across the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which describes what we believe as Catholics. I was reading the section on the Eucharist and was astounded as I learned about transubstantiation at the Mass -- the changing of the bread and wine into the Lord's body, blood, soul, and divinity. The next Sunday I remember looking at Jesus in the Eucharist and being so amazed that God was right there in front of me -- and I was about to receive Him into my body! This realization was a pure grace from the Lord and I knew nothing would ever be the same again. With this grace in my heart, I now saw that Mass was always a direct encounter with God and Eucharistic Adoration (my parish has a perpetual adoration chapel) was a continuation of that direct encounter.

During my senior year I became a catechist for religious education classes and I experienced such joy as we taught students the truths of our Faith. I also began to understand that faith is a gift which each generation has the duty and blessing to teach and hand on to the next generation. I was grateful for the countless generations who passed on the Faith all the way to my own Baptism -- and now it was my turn to do the same.

Offer us a few words about one Gift of the Holy Spirit and how it has helped you.
Sometimes in school and at work I have felt afraid to live out my faith as a Christian and as a Catholic. I think the devil can discourage us by trying to convince us that nobody feels the way we do, that we are the only believer around, or that we should just keep our faith to ourselves and not stick out in any way. Such discouragement is a lie. We are never alone. The Gift of Fortitude propels us beyond our fears and encourages us to put our trust in the Lord. Fortitude helps in big things like speaking up when someone is being disrespected and in little things like making the sign of the cross before eating a meal at a restaurant.

Share an interesting fact about your high school years.
My dad was transferred to a job in the Czech Republic and our family moved to Prague my junior year. Our church there, St. Thomas, was an Augustinian parish from the year 1285. Statues, paintings, and even skeletons of saints, were everywhere. I was just so struck by the beauty and transcendence of praying each Sunday in that holy place.

Other than prayer, what is your fuel?
I really like bubble gum, but last year I began to get toothaches from chewing too much so I recently cut back my gum chewing.

As a priest, God willing, where would you most like to celebrate the Holy Mass?
I was baptized and had my first confession and first Holy Communion at Our Lady of Victory Church in Paris, Texas. I would love to return and celebrate Holy Mass.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?
This summer in St. John Church at Creighton University I was continually drawn to a statue of John standing with Mary beneath the Crucifix, keeping vigil as our Lord suffered in His Passion. Please ask St. John to pray that I may always remain at the Cross with our Lord.