Follow @shmsdetroit

Eight Sacred Heart Graduates Begin Priestly Ministry

Meet the graduates from across four dioceses and two religious communities, who were ordained priests this summer.

by Casey McCorry

Eight graduates of Sacred Heart Major Seminary across four dioceses and two religious communities were ordained priests this summer. Father Christian Flagstadt, Father Brandon Yanni, Father Brother John of the Cross (Anthony Costantino), Father Joshua Grandmaison, CC, Father Jacob Thomas, Father Tyler Arens, Father Michael Churchill, and Father Juan Orozco, CC received the sacrament of Holy Orders. Each earned a Master of Divinity degree from Sacred Heart and a graduate-level Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree. The STB is conferred by Rome’s Pontifical University of St. Thomas through Sacred Heart’s faculty.

The ordinations took place throughout June before family, friends, well-wishers, and scores of priestly co-celebrants as well as on live streams at the priests’ respective dioceses. Father Flagstadt and Father Yanni shared their ordination on June 3 at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette. Father Flagstadt says he hopes to be the kind of priest “that is a bridge between God and humanity,” and Father Yanni wants to be “conformed to the heart of Christ, helping the faithful to know and love God.” Father Jacob Thomas, who most looked forward to, “helping people encounter God’s mercy in the sacrament of reconciliation,” was ordained June 4 at the Cathedral Church of Kalamazoo in Kalamazoo. Father Arens, who celebrated June, 11 at St. Thomas Aquinas in Lansing most looked forward to celebrating the Sacraments saying, “I’m already filled with joy thinking about celebrating my first Mass.” Father Churchill was ordained at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona, MN. Father Churchill said he will most miss the friendships at Sacred Heart, “Some of my closest friends have been brothers here at Sacred Heart. All of the highlights and memories made here are filled with joy because of the brotherhood.” Inspired by his time studying nursing, he hopes to bring a “calming and peaceful presence” to his flock and desires to be a priest who is “particularly attentive to people who are struggling and hurting and to bring the healing presence of Jesus Christ.” 

The Class of 2022 saw two more ordinations this year for religious communities. Father Brother John of the Cross (Anthony Constantino) was ordained for the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit on June 4 at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix, AZ. He says he is most excited to say Mass, hear confessions, and wants to be a priest, “filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit who radiates the love of God.” Father Joshua Grandmaison, CC, who said he wants to be a priest “who is willing to do whatever it takes to help save souls,” was ordained for the Companions of the Cross at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica in Ontario, Canada and Father Juan Orozco, CC at the Catholic Charismatic Center in Houston, TX on June 25. Father Orozco said he hopes to, “be a priest who is close to his people and empowered by the Holy Spirit to cast the fire of God upon the earth.” 

Join us in praising God for the gift of the priesthood, and the lives of service to the Church these men are entering into. The Sacred Heart community offers heartfelt congratulations. Let us pray for these men as they work to unleash the gospel in their new ministries. 

  • Father Christian Flagstadt
    Home parish: Holy Family, Gladstone, MI
    First Assignment: St. John the Baptist and St. Joseph Church, Ishpeming, 

  • Father Brandon Yanni
    Home parish: Holy Name of Mary, Sault Ste. Marie, MI
    First Assignment: All Saints Church, Gladstone, MI. 

  • Father Brother John of the Cross
    Home parish: St. John the Baptist Laveen, AZ and St. Mary of Redford, Detroit, MI
    First Assignment: St. John the Baptist Parish and St. Peter’s Mission Parish, AZ

  • Father Joshua Grandmaison, CC
    First Assignment: Annunciation of the Lord Parish, Ottawa, ON

  • Father Jacob Thomas
    Home parish: St. Philip Catholic Church, Battle Creek, MI
    First Assignment: St. Joseph Parish, Battle Creek, MI

  • Father Tyler Arens
    Home parish: St. Mary, Westphalia, MI
    First Assignment: St. Mary Star of the Sea, Jackson, MI

  • Father Michael Churchill
    Home parish: St. Finbarr, Grand Meadow, MN
    First Assignment: Pax Christi, Rochester, MN

  • Father Juan Orozco, CC
    Home parish: Sacred Heart, Conroe, TX
    First Assignment: Catholic Charismatic Center, Houston, TX

by Casey McCorry

Casey McCorry

Stay connected with Sacred Heart. Sign up for our monthly newsletter.


Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.