Father Clarence J. Zachman, OMI, 103, passed away at the Benedictine Living Community at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL, on January 19, 2024. He was the eldest Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate in the world.

Father Clarence was born on November 2, 1920, to the late Louis and Philomena, nee Becker, Zachman in Rogers, Minnesota. Fr. Clarence took his First Vows as a Missionary Oblate in August 1943 in Mission, Texas. He was ordained a Missionary Oblate priest at St. Paul’s Cathedral in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 5, 1948.

After ordination, Fr. Clarence received assignments in Carthage, Missouri; Onaka, South Dakota; Sisseton, South Dakota; Duluth, Minnesota; and Mountain Grove, Missouri.

He joined the United States Air Force in 1961. As Chaplain, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel during his 20 years of service. He was stationed abroad at Samsun, Turkey; Tokyo, Japan; and Ramstein, Germany; and stateside in Minot, North Dakota; Tampa, Florida; Anchorage, Alaska; Marquette, Michigan; and various bases in Texas.

He finished his traveling in 1989 when he was assigned to various ministries in Belleville, Illinois. During this time, he coined the phrase, “Jesus loves you and so do I.”

His last assignments were as St. Henry’s Oblate Community in Belleville, and chaplain at the Benedictine Living Community.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Arthur, Raymond, Norbert and Francis; and his sisters, Genieve, Cecilia and Rosalia.

Mourning his passing are his nieces and nephews, residents and staff at the Benedictine Living Community, and 3,500 Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate around the world.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate by clicking here.


Friends may visit at 8:30 a.m., January 25, 2024, at the Church at the National Shrine Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, Illinois.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30 a.m., January 25, 2024, at the Church at the National Shrine Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, Illinois.

Click Here to view a livestream of the Mass.

Burial will be at the St. Henry’s Oblate Cemetery, Belleville, Illinois.

Click Here to read more about Fr. Clarence Zachman’s life and ministry.