Sponsor a Seminarian

The Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit currently have five men enrolled at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. Per year, the cost of their tuition and living expenses averages about $40,000 per man. We invite you to read their individual stories and to prayerfully consider supporting one of these men as they faithfully discern and follow the Lord’s call to become priests for His Church.

Our Seminarians

Br. John of the Cross Costantino

Br. John of the Cross is in Third Theology

My name is Br. John of the Cross. I grew up in Canonsburg, PA, a small town about a half-hour south of Pittsburgh. I attended Catholic grade school and high school. I spent my first 2 years of college at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, where I was on the tennis team and studied mathematics. I was doing great in school and was the best player on the tennis team as a freshman, yet I felt very unfulfilled. I realized that I hadn’t really asked God what He wanted me to do with my life. As soon as I did this, I began to feel an intense desire to serve God and His people as a priest. The strength of this desire led me to enter the seminary for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. I spent my last 2 years of college at St. Paul’s Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA, and took classes at Duquesne University where I graduated with a degree in philosophy in 2015. I was assigned to begin theological studies in major seminary at Theological College in Washington, DC, which is attached to The Catholic University of America.

At this time, I began to feel a strong call towards community life, to a life spent in prayer, and to be a part of a community open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I discerned that God was calling me to join the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit, which at that point was not yet an official religious community. Taking a leap of faith, I withdrew from diocesan seminary in May 2016. Shortly thereafter, the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit were officially founded in July of that year and I was able to enter the community as a postulant that August, followed by an entrance into the novitiate on December 23rd, 2016 (my birthday!). I professed temporary vows on June 23, 2018 and am now in third Theology, studying at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. To God be the glory, my life as a friar is awesome. I love the prayer, fraternity, and ministry that our community life brings us!

Br. Paul Graupmann

Br. Paul is in second year Philosophy.

I was born and raised in a small town called Kadoka in South Dakota. It was a town of roughly 628 people. I left for the Navy at the age of 18 and served for four and a half years. It was during my last year in the military that I met Jesus Christ and felt a call to the priesthood.

When I left the Navy, I moved to Flagstaff, AZ to live with my brother who is a FOCUS missionary. It was on a retreat put on by FOCUS that I first met the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit. Nine days later I visited their friary on the Gila River Indian Reservation for the first time. During that visit, I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues.

My life was never the same and about a year later I joined the friars as a postulant. I professed temporary vows on June 23, 2018 and am currently a college student at Sacred Heart Major Seminary and am living at the Grey Friars House of Studies in Detroit.

Br. Elijah Delello

Br. Elijah is in second year Philosophy.

I was born and raised in New Jersey. I grew up Catholic but didn't really have a personal relationship with Jesus. When I was in college, I met a girl who was a non-denominational Christian and she began to challenge me on Catholic teaching and why I professed to be a Catholic. I realized that I didn't have any answers to her questions and began to read the bible and study the faith for myself. I began to see how beautiful the teachings of the Catholic Church were. This encounter with truth placed in my heart a deep longing for God. As I studied I also began to pray more and to cultivate my own relationship with Jesus.

By the end of college, I began to hear a call to the priesthood. I went to Franciscan University to study the faith and to begin to discern the priesthood more intentionally. While at Franciscan I began to feel a call to religious life, and it was during my years studying for my masters that I met some of the friars. After graduation I moved to Louisiana to work as a campus minister at Louisiana State University. After two years of ministry I felt the Lord call me to join the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit. I entered with the friars on August 11, 2017 on the feast of St. Clare and I have been with them ever since.

Br. Lawrence Hogue

Br. Lawrence is in second year Philosophy.

I was raised Catholic in Loretto, Pennsylvania. It is a town small in population, but possessing a rich Catholic heritage. There are many religious communities in the area. While I was in grade school, I was blessed to have postulants from the local province of Franciscans TOR as my teachers’ aids. These men had a big impact on my life, especially through inviting me to Night of Worship, which was at the local university. At these Nights of Worship, I encountered praise and worship for the first time and witnessed miracles, such as the Holy Spirit growing out one of a person’s legs, which was shorter than the other one. This really gave me a solid faith and made me realize that the Eucharist is actually Jesus. But I was still living for myself and I was on and off when it came to following the Lord.

Then in college, my cousins invited me to a praise and worship bible study, which happened to be run by the same friars. There, I experienced that I belong with God and decided to live my life for him. At that point I still had planned on getting married. However, as the year progressed, I became more open to the possibility of a priestly vocation, especially through the witness of the Franciscan Friars. I also began to desire to be consecrated totally to God.

One night, I had a prayer experience in which I believe the Lord Jesus told me that He was calling me to be a priest. This made me feel the most joyful that I had ever been. After that, my spiritual director told me I should discern whether the Lord was calling me to the diocesan or religious priesthood.

When the Franciscans who had been so influential in my life moved down to Phoenix, Arizona to begin a mission to Native Americans, I figured that they were one of the communities I should discern with. When I went to visit them, it was again one of the most joyful times of my life. I visited again and developed a love for the Natives in addition to feeling at home there. I did a few more years of school and then joined these same friars, who had been named the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit. I love being part of this community and, God willing, I hope to make solemn vows and be ordained a priest. All glory be to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.