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Feb 19th, 2023 Bulletin & News

By February 14, 2023No Comments

The OMV Priests share how they were Called to Holiness

God calls us all to holiness, in every state in life. This week the OMV priests share how that call touched their lives.

Fr. Mark Yavarone, OMV Director, OLPH Retreat Center

I first became aware of my calling to priesthood during a trip to Rome with my parents and my sister in 1988. After the weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square, the four of us gathered with a priest who had shown us around Rome the previous day. The priest handed me a letter before we parted company. I sat down in the shadow of St. Peter’s, opened the letter, and began to read it.

The letter described his 17 years as a priest. He wrote of how indescribable it was to baptize an infant and thus change his eternity, to say the essential words that enable bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Christ. . . . and ended by asking, “Why not give it a try?”

Today, I look back on that moment in St. Peter’s as the moment when the entire course of my life changed. And if I could return to that spring day in 1988, I would make the same decision!

Fr. Shawn Monahan, OMV OLPH Retreat Center

My vocation story begins with being raised in a devout Catholic family just outside of Boston. As a middle child with both an older brother and sister and younger brother and sister, I often joked that by becoming a priest, everyone would have to listen to me. The real impetus to being able to answer the call to the priesthood and religious life unfolded during my college years at Franciscan University in Steubenville OH. It was there that my faith really deepened on a personal level as I pursued studies my studies in Humanities and Theology. Early on in college I asked the big question: ‘God, what do you want for me, for my life?’ There were thoughts of the priesthood, but I never got the AT&T direct call. So, as I was dating someone, again another question came up, “Is this the one? Is marriage where you are calling me?”

Which led me to take a semester studying in Austria to discern my vocation. Long story short, I decided to give God the first shot, knowing the eternal impact the life of a priest could have on so many souls. All signs seemed to point to the seminary to continue discerning that possible call, and I was ordained to the priesthood in 2002.

Fr. Tom Carzon, OMV pastor, San Pedro Catholic Church

“Love one another, love one another profoundly, and always remain one at heart, whatever it may cost you!” These last words of Venerable Bruno Lanteri drew me to join the Congregation he founded, the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. When I visited the OMV seminary in Boston, the spirit of fraternal charity and esteem impressed me, Lanteri’s spirit alive in his spiritual sons. My desire for the priesthood had been nurtured within my family. Dad was an usher, Mom sang in the choir, my brothers and I were altar servers. Faith was a regular part of family life, from prayer at meals and Sunday Mass, to regular Confession, the Rosary, adoration, Stations of the Cross. Seeing my father go to confession was a powerful witness – that he humbled himself before God to ask forgiveness and the help he needed to lead our family. The example of my parish priests deepened my desire, and twelve years of Catholic education formed my heart and mind to seek and follow the truth of our Catholic faith. I am grateful for the faith and love I have received in so many ways and pray that I might hand them on to others, whatever it may cost.

Fr. Nathan Marzonie, OMV Parochial Vicar, San Pedro Catholic Church

During my last year of college, I almost missed the pivotal moment of my life. After an exhausting day at work, I considered skipping a young adult event at church, but decided to honor my commitment to attend. Arriving late, I knelt by the door during a time of silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Feeling burdened by personal struggles, family dysfunction, and my unknown future, I realized that I didn’t trust God very much. I made a simple prayer entrusting my future to the Lord, promising that I would do whatever he asked and trusting it would be my greatest happiness. I received a gift of spiritual consolation and deep certainty that God was calling me to consecrated life and priesthood. A month later, I met the Oblates of the Virgin Mary; ten years later, I was ordained a priest. God is good and faithful.

San Pedro Comms

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