Patrick Costello

Patrick Costello


Parish: St. Margaret Mary Parish, Neenah

Birth Date: April 15

Seminary: Pontifical North American College

Seminary Address:
00120 Vatican City, V
Vatican City State, Europe

Theology II

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Patron: St. Joseph

Address for Mailing Cards:
6337 Sturgeon Bay Rd.
Luxemburg WI 54217


Are you a dog person or a cat person?
My family always had cats when I was growing up, and I have really come to love watching their big-cat instincts on display in their house-cat bodies.

Tell us about a great experience that you had during the summer of 2018.
This summer I was blessed to be with the Maryknoll Missionaries in China as an English teacher at a medical university. We taught our students English in the classroom and after class, spent time with them eating dinners, singing karaoke, playing sports, going for walks, and playing board games. Almost all our students were nonreligious and had no clue about who Jesus really is. The Holy Spirit opened their hearts, and they asked many questions about our life and Christian faith. They thirst for God and many would become Christians if only someone was there to show them the way.

Who influenced you the most to think about priesthood?
Specifically, I recall three people in my life who influenced me to think about the priesthood. The first was my father. I remember one day in high school as we were leaving Sunday Mass, he just turned to me and said, “Son, I think you could be a good priest.” At the time, I wasn’t really considering the priesthood, but I was very pleased and happy as a son to hear that from my own dad. The second person was my grandma. When I was visiting my grandparents on summer break in college, she showed me a vocation booklet and simply said, “I just think you should take a look at this.” The third was my college chaplain, Fr. Michael Parisi, a Navy priest who candidly said that he was seeing in me various signs of the priestly call and that I should seriously consider the seminary. These three people loved me so much that they were willing to be vulnerable and suggest that God may be calling me to His priesthood.

Pope Francis recently wrote a document entitled Gaudete et Exsultate on holiness. What does holiness look like to you?
This summer I listened to a sermon by Blessed John Henry Newman in which he reflects on how holiness is often hidden. He looks at the life of Jesus and notes how often people passed by the Holy One and thought nothing of Him. Even his cousins seemed to think Jesus was nothing special and was beside Himself (Mk 3:21). Newman considers how on the surface many people look and seem the same to us, but those who are truly holy “in their hearts are very different; they make no great show, they go on in the same quiet ordinary way as the others, but really they are in training to be saints in heaven … true religion is a hidden life in the heart; and though it cannot exist without deeds, yet these are for the most part secret deeds, secret charities, secret prayers, secret self-denials, secret struggles, secret victories.” In many Romance languages, the words for holy and saint are the same. In Latin the word is sanctus. This gets me thinking, how many saints do I pass by each day? How many saints do I daily speak with and work with? How many saints do I live with? Of course, I know no one is a saint until persevering to the end in faith, hope, and love—faithful through that final journey with Jesus from earthly death to eternal life. Yet still, it is so amazing to stop and consider that all around me are people becoming hidden saints.

What is your dream car?
My dream car is any car that could get my passengers and me safely through Wisconsin ice and snow.

What aspect of your home parish is the most meaningful for you?
When St. Margaret Mary Church was being renovated in the early 2000s, the holder for holy oils and sacred chrism was donated by my family in honor of my Uncle Richard who died in an accident at just three years old. It reminds me of him and his special intercession for my family and every parishioner who is anointed with those oils. It reminds me to pray to him and ask for his help from heaven.