The Oblates of the Virgin Mary serve in communities around the world, spreading the word about God’s love and mercy and sharing in this journey of life with the faithful.
New Beginnings for Oblates
Recently, there has been lots of movement and new beginnings for our Oblates. Learn about the new faces and roles in our communities around the United States.
Diocese of Venice, Florida
The Oblates are a growing presence in the Diocese of Venice Florida with the addition of San Pedro Parish. On August 1st, Fr. Thomas Carzon assumed pastoral care of San Pedro as its pastor and newly ordained Fr. Nathan Marzonie joined him as associate pastor.
The Venice community continues ministry at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center under the leadership of Fr. Mark Yavarone with the help of Fr. Shawn Monahan who returns to Florida until the next novitiate year.
Fr. Thomas Carzon
Fr. Tom Carzon is a suburban Detroit native and the youngest of six kids. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1996 and served as the rector for Our Lady of Grace seminary for 15 years.
Fr. Nathan Marzonie
Originally from Flushing, Michigan, Fr. Nathan was accepted to medical school before he felt a call to enter religious life and joined the Oblates. Before being ordained on August 13, 2022, he was assigned at St. Mary’s in Alton, Illinois.
Fr. Mark Yavarone
Fr. Mark grew up at the New Jersey shore and earned a Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Anatomy before joining the Oblates. He has since served as associate pastor at St. Andrew’s Parish in Avenel, New Jersey, completed his spiritual direction certification, and spent nine years as a missionary in the Philippines.
Fr. Shawn Monahan
A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Fr. Shawn entered the Oblates of the Virgin Mary after graduating from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He has enjoyed a variety of roles in parish life, seminary formation, and retreat ministry.
St. Peter Chanel in Hawaiian Gardens, California
Fr. Lino Estadilla assumes the role of pastor of St. Peter Chanel as Fr. Larry Darnell steps down after nearly three decades of service. (Thank you, Fr. Larry!) Fr. Larry will continue in community there as Superior. Deacon Jonas Verdeflor joins St. Peter Chanel as its new deacon until his ordination to the priesthood next summer.
Fr. Lino Estadilla
A native of Nabua, Bicol, Fr. Lino was ordained to the priesthood in December 2006. He specialized in biblical studies at St. John’s Seminary, Boston, USA.
Fr. Larry Darnell
Fr. Larry Darnell was ordained to the priesthood in 1982 and has been serving at St. Peter Chanel for over 28 years. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, he attended Princeton University where he was a member of the rowing team. Fr. Larry is 82 years old.
Deacon Jonas Verdeflor
From Queens in New York City, Deacon Jonas worked as a copy editor and page designer at various newspapers before joining the Oblates. He completed his diaconate ordination on January 29, 2022, and is currently preparing for his priestly ordination in 2023.
St. Mary’s in Alton, Illinois
After nearly a decade as pastor at Holy Ghost, Fr. Chris Uhl returns to St. Mary’s with the newly ordained Fr. Leland Thorpe assisting him as associate pastor.
Fr. Chris Uhl
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Fr. Chris joined the Oblates of the Virgin Mary in 1994 and spent his first seven years as a priest serving St. Mary’s as Parochial Vicar. He’s also served as director of the St. Francis Chapel and as pastor of Holy Ghost Church.
Fr. Leland Thorpe
From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Fr. Leland was working as a software engineer before being called to join the Oblates. He served at St. Mary’s Church as a deacon before completing his priestly ordination on August 13, 2022, and will continue serving the community as the associate pastor.
Holy Ghost Church in Denver, Colorado
Fr. Paul Nguyen who has served as St. Mary’s administrator for the past year continues to grow in his ministry as the new pastor of Holy Ghost. He welcomes back Fr. Ernie Sherstone as senior priest in residence.
Fr. Paul Nguyen
Originally from California, Fr. Paul Nguyen received a degree in computer science Cal. State, Long Beach before joining the Oblates. He is an accomplished musician and was ordained to the priesthood in 2018.
Fr. Ernie Sherstone
Fr. Ernie Shenstone was ordained to the priesthood in 1978 and was instrumental in founding the Lanteri Center for Ignatian Spirituality in 2004. His extensive experience in spiritual direction has been a defining hallmark of his many years of service as an Oblate.
St. Joseph’s Retreat House in Milton, Massachusetts
After 15 years serving as associate pastor at St. Peter Chanel, Fr. Craig McMahon joins the St. Joseph Retreat House as a spiritual director to fill the growing need of spiritual direction.
Fr. Craig McMahon
Fr. Craig McMahon recently celebrated his 31st anniversary of being ordained a priest. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy.
Our Lady of Grace Seminary in Boston, Massachusetts
Three of our brothers return to Our Lady of Grace Seminary at St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine to complete their studies after serving a year in pastoral ministry. Br. Jonathan Hanks returns from Holy Ghost, Br. Jay-Ar San Juan returns from St. Peter Chanel, and Br. Jorge Sanchez returns from St. Mary’s.
Br. Jonathan Hank
Originally from Corcoran, Minnesota, Br. Jonathon joined the Oblates after earning his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Minnesota. He’s returning to complete his studies at Our Lady of Grace Seminary after spending a year in pastoral ministry at Holy Ghost Church.
Br. Jay-Ar San Juan
Born and raised in the city of Bandar Seri Begawan in the sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, Br. Jay-Ar joined the Oblates after learning about them through the VISION Vocations Network. He’s returning to complete his studies at Our Lady of Grace Seminary after spending a year in pastoral ministry at St. Peter Chanel.
Br. Jorge Sanchez
Originally from Fullerton, California, Br. Jorge worked as an assistant on film shoots before joining the Oblates. He’s returning to complete his studies at Our Lady of Grace Seminary after spending a year in pastoral ministry at St. Mary’s Church.
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Our Oblates are the heart and soul of this community. Their dedication, commitment, and joy in service are a constant that we’ve all learned to count on in good times and bad. Because of their service, we’ve been able to grow and serve this community around the world, feeding spiritual hunger and spreading the word of the Lord.