Fr. O'Brien

Fr. O’Brien

Germantown, Philadelphia, PA—November 28, 2016—The Miraculous Medal Shrine is pleased to welcome Fr. William O’Brien, CM, as the new Director of the Miraculous Medal Shrine and Spiritual Director of the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal (CAMM). Appointed by Very Rev. Michael J. Carroll, CM, Provincial Superior of the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission, Fr. O’Brien will be assisted by a team of five priests who will help support people’s spiritual needs when they visit the Shrine.

“From my history in ministries, I have served our Blessed Mother for many years,” said Fr. O’Brien, a native Philadelphian who formerly served as the Executive Director of the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal from 1996 to 2002, and most recently served as the Director of the Our Lady of Angels Association and Treasurer for St. Vincent’s Seminary. He also served in parish ministry before serving at Niagara University.

Fr. O’Brien succeeds Fr. Carl Pieber, CM, who, after close to 10 years of service to the Shrine and the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal, will now devote himself to his role as International Deputy Director General of the International Association of the Miraculous Medal. Fr. Pieber made several noteworthy contributions during his tenure at the Shrine including: repainting the Shrine’s interior in 2008, purchasing a new organ in 2015, and restoring the Shrine’s Sanctuary this year. These projects leave Fr. Pieber with the feeling that “it is completed as a beautiful place of simplicity and prayer.” Fr. Pieber was also instrumental in CAMM’s leap into social media. In his new position, he will work with the 45 organizations in the International Association of the Miraculous Medal and help start Associations in new countries; he will continue to live in Philadelphia at St. Vincent’s Seminary.

The priests assisting Fr. O’Brien at the Shrine include Fr. Michael Shea, CM, Assistant Director of the Miraculous Medal Shrine; Fr. Michael Callaghan, CM, an Associate Director; Fr. Flavio Pereira, CM, Spiritual Director for the Shrine’s growing Latino Community; and our two newest priests, Fr. Francis Sacks, CM, and Fr. Thomas Sendlein, CM, who serve as Associate Directors.

Fr. Sendlein, originally from Brooklyn, recently returned to Germantown from mission work in China. Fr. Sacks was born in Coplay, PA, and previously worked as Chaplain at the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.  Fr. Flavio Pereira, CM, who hails from Nicaragua, joined the staff in 2015, and spiritually heads the monthly Spanish Novenas and Latino events at the Shrine in addition to his work as Spiritual Director for the Latino Community. They will join Fr. Michael Shea, CM, who has served as Assistant Director of the Shrine since 2010, and Fr. Michael Callaghan, CM, who has been here since 2014. In addition to assisting during the Monday Novena services and Masses and leading retreats and tours, all the priests are available for spiritual guidance in their ministry at the Shrine.

“I believe Mary wants me to continue to serve her here at Mary’s Central Shrine in Philadelphia,” said Fr. O’Brien. “I’m happy to be ministering here once again.”

For more information about upcoming events at The Central Association of the Miraculous Medal and the Miraculous Medal Shrine, please visit