Prospective U.S. Navy Chaplain Ordained a Priest in Green Bay, Wisconsin Father Patrick G. Costello crosses finish line in formational journey toward priesthood

From left to right: Retired Auxiliary Bishop George Rassas, Father Patrick Costello, Bishop David Ricken, and Archbishop Timothy Broglio. Photo by Sam Lucero | Courtesy of The Compass.

GREEN BAY, WI – Father Patrick G. Costello, LT, USNR, a 2013 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a candidate for U.S. Military chaplaincy, was ordained a Catholic priest on Saturday, July 3, in Green Bay, WI. He hopes eventually to serve as a Navy chaplain with endorsement and faculties from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). The new priest plans to go on active duty following a three-year period of pastoral service in his home Diocese of Green Bay under the co-sponsorship agreement between the Diocese and the AMS.

Father Costello, 31, who holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.) in Oceanography from the Naval Academy, completed the program for priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology Degree (S.T.B.). His ordination was celebrated at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral through the laying of hands and the prayer of consecration invoking the Holy Spirit by Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, concelebrated the 10:00 a.m. ordination Mass. Also concelebrating were retired Auxiliary Bishop George J. Rassas of Chicago, a friend of the Costello family, and Father Michael J. Parisi, CHC, CAPT, USN (Ret.), a retired Navy chaplain who first encouraged Father Costello to pursue the priesthood and military chaplaincy while serving at the Naval Academy. Father Parisi vested the new priest at the ordination Mass.

Among those in attendance were Father Costello’s parents, John and Eileen Costello; his grandparents, Gordon and Rosemary Sheahen; his brother, Dr. Johnny Costello; his sister and brother-in-law, Greg and Maureen Dempsey, and their children, Elise and Nora; and many extended family and friends.

Commenting on his ordination, Father Costello said: “I am so thankful to God for all His grace and providence in bringing me to His holy altar as a priest of Jesus Christ.  The prayers and care of the faithful of the Diocese of Green Bay and the Archdiocese for the Military Services have kept me steady and constantly encouraged over these many years of seminary formation.  Now I am just so happy for the Lord to provide for them the sacraments of His grace through my priestly hands.”

In keeping with his patriotic spirit, Father Costello celebrated his first post-ordination Mass on July 4 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, WI. In his first priestly assignment, he will serve as Parochial Vicar at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Appleton, WI.

The eventual active-duty service of Father Costello and other Catholic chaplain candidates is greatly anticipated by the Navy, which, like all other branches of the U.S. Military, continues to suffer a chronic shortage of Catholic chaplains due to attrition: aging priests are retiring from the Military faster than they can be replaced. Currently, only 43 priests are on active duty in the Navy, serving hundreds of thousands of Catholics based worldwide in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, as well as, their families.

Young men interested in discerning a priestly vocation, and the vocation within a vocation to serve those who serve in the U.S. military, can find more information at www.milarch.org/vocations, or may contact the AMS Vocations Office at vocations@milarch.org or (202) 719-3600.

Donations in support of AMS Vocations are gratefully accepted at www.milarch.org/donate.