These men are currently in formation with the Oblates of the Virgin Mary in the United States.  Scroll down for more information on each seminarian.

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Web small Rafael SolorioBr. Rafael Solorio, OMV

Br. Rafael, the eighth of ten children, was born and raised in a small town in the state of Michoacan, Mexico.  He came to the United States when he was eighteen years old and worked for eleven years as a psychiatric technician in a developmental center helping the developmentally disabled.  A resident of L.A., Br. Rafael met the Oblates at our parish in Hawaiian Gardens.  He entered Our Lady of Grace Seminary in the Fall of 2011 and took first vows as an Oblate on August 5, 2014.

“The Oblates at St. Peter Chanel with their powerful witness and our Blessed Mother Mary have led me to discern my vocation to the religious life and priesthood.”



Web small Paul NguyenBr. Paul Nguyen, OMV

Br. Paul hails from Long Beach, CA and is the oldest of four children.  He earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Cal State Long Beach and worked in web design and development before joining the Oblates in September 2010.  He also plays the violin, providing music for various church liturgies and has performed with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra.  He took first vows as an Oblate on August 5, 2014.

“This is a house of Mary.  For me, it all started with Mary.  It is all too fitting that I am here with her.”



Web small Paul KallalBr. Paul Kallal, OMV

Coming to us from Jerseyville, IL (near St. Louis) and one of three children, Br. Paul attended a Catholic grade school and public high school before earning his Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Barnes-Jewish College of Nursing in St. Louis.  He worked for several years as a nurse at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.  Br. Paul first met the Oblates at our OMV parish of St. Mary’s in Alton, Illinois and entered Our Lady of Grace Seminary in September 2013.  He made his first vows on August 5, 2015 and is in his first year of theology studies.

His favorite quote:

“We are called by the voice of God, by the voice of that ultimate being, to pierce through the irrelevance of our life…”    — Thomas Merton


Web small Nathan MarzonieBr. Nathan Marzonie, OMV

Br. Nathan comes to us from Flushing, MI.  An Armenian, Br. Nathan is fluent in both Armenian and Turkish as well as English. He is the fifth of six children and was homeschooled before entering the University of Michigan.  He graduated in 2011 with a B.S. in Molecular Biology and a B.S. in Laboratory Science.  He applied to medical school but felt a call to enter the seminary.  He joined the Oblates in September 2012 and made first vows on August 5, 2015.

His favorite quote:

“The world offers you comfort; you were not made for comfort, but for greatness.”                            — Pope Benedict XVI


Web small Brendan Bell,jpgBrenden Bell

Brenden hails from Hemet, CA, and has one older brother.  He went to Saint Mary’s College of California where he earned his B.A. double major in Theology and Philosophy.  Later, Brenden worked as a Writing Center tutor at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas.  Feeling called to the religious life, Brenden was introduced to the Oblates through St. Clement Shrine in Boston and this website (  He entered in September of 2015 and is in his first year of postulancy.

His favorite quote:

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” — G.K. Chesterton


Web small Jeremy LeeJeremy Lee

Jeremy is the youngest of two children and comes to us from Clarksville, MD.  He earned his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Duke University and was a Naval submarine officer and engineer.  As a graduate student in Boston,  Jeremy first met us when looking for a spiritual director.  The Oblates of the Virgin Mary were recommended to him by a FOCUS missionary.  Feeling called to the religious life, Jeremy entered the seminary in September 2015 and is in his first year of postulancy.

His favorite quote:

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  Let it be done unto me according to your word.”           — Luke 1:38


Web small Colin PowellColin Powell

Colin comes to Boston from nearby Amesbury, MA and is the youngest of four children.  He received his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts — Lowell.  He worked at a local library and as a barista in a local bakery before connecting with the Oblates on Facebook.  Colin began his second year at Our Lady of Grace Seminary in September 2015.

His favorite quote:

“I am the resurrection and the life…” — John 11:25



Web small Leland ThorpeLeland Thorpe

Leland hails from Pittsburgh and has one younger sister.  He studied at Carnegie Mellon University where he received his B.S. in Computer Science and his M.S. in Robotics.  Working as a software engineer in Pittsburgh, he first heard of the Oblates from reading the books of Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV.  Leland began his second year of postulancy with us in September of 2015.

His favorite quote:

“Do not be afraid.  Open wide the doors for Christ.” — St. John Paul II



Web small Jonas VerdeflorJonas Verdeflor

Jonas is the youngest of three children and comes to us from Queens in New York City.  He earned his B.S. in Journalism and Technical Writing from NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering and worked for twelve years as a copy editor and page designer at various newspapers across the country.  He first learned about the Oblates from watching the appearances of Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV on TV and was recommended to the Oblates by his spiritual director.  Jonas began his first year of postulancy at Our Lady of Grace Seminary in September 2014 and is now in his second year of formation.

His favorite quote:

“In this world there is tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have conquered the world”                                                                                                                                  — John 16:34b



Please pray for all our seminarians!