Fr. Salvador Gonzalez, OMI
Director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows

I was born in Guadalajara Mexico and raised in Oakland California. My seminary formation took me across borders from Tijuana Mexico to San Antonio Texas to Rome Italy. Ministry to people in prison and ministry to those struggling with addictions are very life giving to me as well as ministering to Spanish speaking communities. MY ministry has included parish work, shrine ministry, preaching workshops and retreat ministry. Fr. Salvador Gonzalez, OMI is the current director of the national Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows and has been ministering in the Diocese of Belleville for nine years.

Fr. Victor Patricio, OMI
Director of Hispanic Ministry
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows

Fr. Victor Patricio, OMI was born in Acapulco, Mexico. He is the youngest of 10 children. He professed his first vows as an Oblate at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine in 2013 and was ordained in San Antonio, TX on May 18, 2018. His first assignments were parish ministry for 3 years (San Fernando, CA and Chula Vista, CA) which he loved very much. Then, he became the Vocation Director for the US Province from 2021-2023. To help young men to discern their vocation in life was very powerful. He came to Our Lady of the Snows Shrine and King’s House Retreat Center in August 2023, to serve God’s people in this part of the country as an Oblate who may be a channel of God’s love and compassion for those in need.

Fr. Mark Dean, OMI

Mark Dean, OMI, a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate, is currently on staff at King’s House Retreat and Renewal Center in Belleville, IL, and will soon be moving to the National Shrine of our Lady of the Snows to continue work in retreat ministry.  Previously he has (among a variety of assignments) served as a formator to Oblate seminarians, pastor to Sweden’s northern-most parish, and chaplain to both university students and men incarcerated.  Being the third born of five sons, Mark enjoys the privileges of being a middle child, and standing in the middle, along with Virtue.

Fr. James Fee, OMI
Director of Spiritual Programs

Fr. Jim, originally from Buffalo, NY, attended an Oblate-staffed high school there, where he was impressed by the community spirit of the Oblates.  Feeling called to join them he was ordained a priest in 1971.  A large portion of his work has been in formation ministry, accompanying other young men in their discerning and preparing to become Oblate missionaries: 11 years as part of the major seminary staff in Washington, DC and another 3 years at the Pre-novitiate level in Tijuana, BC, Mexico.

Most of his years as an Oblate missionary have involved him in parish ministry, serving together both Anglo and Hispanic parishioners in locations such as Lowell, MA, Los Angeles, CA, Eagle Pass, TX among others.  He values the call to recognize and collaborate with the charisms and gifts of the laity in today’s church and pursue the struggles for justice in our society.  Prioritizing God’s poor with their many faces is both a challenging and fulfilling dimension in Fr. Jim’s Oblate ministry.

Fr. Mike Brown, OMI Growing up in my hometown of Payson, IL, my family and I attended Mass at St. Brigid in nearby Liberty, IL.  We participated in various parish activities, and I feel these experiences deepened my vocation to the priesthood later in life.

My first contact with the Oblates came through our parish priest, Fr. Frank Campbell, OMI and began my journey into priesthood with the Oblates. I was in college when my family and I went to his retirement party.  I told him I felt called to be a priest and he asked me to consider the Oblates.  He sent my name to the Oblate vocation director, who was at the time Fr. Lou Studer, OMI.

I have been an Oblate since 1997 and I was ordained a priest in 2002.  I spent my first twenty years as a priest ministering in Oblate parishes.  I was at parishes in Texas, Missouri, Florida, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.  During my time in parish ministry, I met many people and I felt richly rewarded for my service to them.

In 2023, I was assigned to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. I had visited the Shrine many times during the years as an Oblate, so am familiar with it, but this is a new ministry setting for me. I am looking forward to many new experiences here at the Shrine and in Belleville, IL!

May the peace of Christ be with you,

Fr. Mike Powell, OMI