Take Part in a Special Oblate Jubilee Celebration

Take Part in a Special Oblate Jubilee Celebration

On September 10, Missionary Oblates from throughout the United States will gather at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows to take part in our Oblate Jubilee Celebration. It is one of my favorite annual events, a time when we celebrate the many years of missionary work of our brother Oblates.

And I want you to be part of this celebration!

Three of the incredible Oblates who are having jubilees this year are Fr. Clarence Zachman, Fr. Tom Killeen and Bro. Pete Vasquez. Below are short profiles of these wonderful missionaries.

Not only will you be honoring these Oblates for their past accomplishments, you will also be honoring their missionary work today. At age 97, Fr. Clarence still visits and prays with pilgrims at the Shrine. Father Tom endures extreme weather conditions in rural Alaska. And Bro. Pete is preparing to move to an even more impoverished neighborhood in Tijuana, Mexico so that he can be of better service to the poor.

Please consider making a gift at this time in support of Oblate missionaries who are helping our less fortunate brothers and sisters. In appreciation of your support, you may choose to receive a special Oblate Jubilee Candle, which will burn during the Jubilee Mass and then be sent to you for personal devotion.

September 10 is going to be a special day for Fr. Clarence, Fr. Tom and Bro. Pete. And you can make it extra special with your prayers and support of their ministries. Thank you for your generous heart, and please know that we will be praying for you during the Oblate Jubilee Celebration.

Fr. Clarence Zachman, O.M.I. - Oblate Priest for 70 Years

For the past 70 years, Fr. Clarence Zachman has tried to get across one simple message: "Jesus loves you and so do I."

Father Clarence was ordained in 1948 and taught at Our Lady of the Ozarks College until 1961. He then joined the United States Air Force as a military chaplain, and for the next 20 years was stationed in countries all over the world. "As Oblates we are called to serve the poorest of the poor," said Fr. Clarence. "As an Air Force chaplain, I met many people who needed help, especially during wartime. I was honored to serve people serving our country."

Father Clarence retired from the Air Force in 1981 and has since ministered at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. At the age of 97, Fr. Clarence is the oldest Oblate in the United States. He still drives, and can be found many days at the Shrine talking, counseling and praying with pilgrims...and reminding them that "Jesus loves you and so do I."

Fr. Thomas Killeen, O.M.I. - Oblate Priest for 60 Years

When he was in middle school, an Oblate priest visited Fr. Tom Killeen's school and talked about ministering with Eskimos. The young man knew right then he wanted to be a priest, and for much of his 60 years of priestly ministry he has worked with the people of the far north.

Father Tom's first assignment was to Greenland. Travel in the winter was impossible by land or sea so Fr. Tom became a pilot. He crashed his plane several time, but explains that it was no big deal. In 1967 he took a break from Greenland and joined the Army as a chaplain. He served in Vietnam, Korea and Germany. He returned to Greenland for seven years working primarily with a Catholic youth program.

Father Tom "retired" at the age of 62 to a parish in Colorado. But it was too nice, and not cold enough. So at the age of 70 he moved to Cordova, Alaska and became the Pastor at St. Joseph's Parish. Last year, at the age of 85, he was named Cordova's "Citizen of the Year."

Bro. Pete Vasquez, O.M.I. - Oblate Brother for 50 Years

When Bro. Pete Vasquez arrived in Tijuana, Mexico his superior told him his assignment would last six months. It has now been more than 15 years, and Bro. Pete couldn't be happier. "I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," said Bro. Pete. "I've even picked out the tree I want to be my final resting place, but that won't be for a long time."

Brother Pete made his final vows as an Oblate brother in 1968 and ministered for nearly 20 years in Oblate vocation programs and parishes in California. But it was assignments to northern Mexico that really made Bro. Pete feel most like a missionary.

Today, Bro. Pete provides for the spiritual and physical needs of the poor at the La Morita mission. There are 200,000 people living in the parish. Brother Pete and the Oblates oversee more than a dozen chapels, and distributed food to 60,000 needy families every year.

Pray with Us

Please have the Missionary Oblates pray for me on September 10 during the Oblates Jubilee Celebration at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.

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