Ian Grosskopf

Pre-Theology

Mount Saint Mary's Seminary
Christopher Newport University


I was born the oldest of four in Fredericksburg, VA. I graduated from Massaponax High School and Christopher Newport University; I majored in History and Political Science, and minored in Leadership Studies. I’m thankful for my Catholic upbringing with parents who were fantastic role models in so many ways. I’ve always had a deep affection for the priesthood and the service that priests render to Holy Mother Church, so the thought of priesthood has been at the back of my mind for a long time.

My discernment really deepened at the beginning of my junior year of college. After participating in Catholic Campus Ministry at CNU for two years, as a junior I joined the leadership team. That was a tremendous blessing, because it opened my eyes to so many things the Lord was doing in my life. It made me dissatisfied with simply doing the bare minimum in my faith. Upon graduation in May 2016, I was thrilled to have a full-time job – I just had to move to Arkansas. Living far away from my family and friends in Arkansas for two years taught me to depend more on the Lord and open up to him. After transferring back to Virginia for work in January 2019, I found that a number of self-imposed barriers that I had constructed to keep me from applying to the seminary had quietly been removed by God – excuses that I had used to avoid doing what I sensed the Lord wanted me to do. I had my college degree, a job in the field that I wanted, and had been able to experience a joyful Catholic relationship. Even with all of that, I still felt something was missing. I felt like my discernment couldn’t really go any further until I was willing to explore seminary, and so I started the application process. By the grace of God, I was accepted into formation at Mount St. Mary’s beginning fall 2020.

The outpouring of love from my new brother seminarians, my family, and my closest friends has been tremendous and awe-inspiring. As I spend more time with my brothers, it’s becoming clear to me that I still have a lot to learn. That said, through the graces of the Lord, the assistance of my formators, and most especially through your prayers I am willing and eager to see what God has in mind for me this upcoming year. Pray for me, that I may decrease and the Lord may increase within me!
Favorite saints are Thomas Becket, Walburga, Joan of Arc, and Patrick; my favorite book is

  • Favorite Saints: Thomas Becket, Walburga, Joan of Arc, and Patrick
  • Favorite Book: Hidden Victory: A Novel of Jesus by Herbert F. Smith (1984).
  • Home Parish: Saint Matthew, Spotsylvania Court House, VA