ALUMNI NEWS

Companioning Launch

          Don’t grow old alone.  That’s the admonition of Bob Fargo’69 VP for alumni programs and a permanent deacon in Camarillo. Bob has started a Companioning Series of quarterly discussions for alumni, all over Zoom. “We Share, because of our Claretian formation, an outlook on life and aging,” Bob said. His sessions will offer spiritual direction and fellowship. To join a session or to learn more, contact Bob Fargo at deconbobfargo@msn.com or click to SURVEY on this website.

Centenary Campaign Helping Retirees

          The Dominguez Seminary Centenary Campaign and Celebration is being well-received by alumni and Claretian friends. In 2024, Dominguez Seminary will celebrate its founding with a year-long series of live and virtual programs. The Dominguez Family provided the acreage and homestead with the Del Amos building the seminary. Built for young seminarians, the building has been modified over the years to accommodate its new role as Claretian retirement center. Alumni gifts in recent years have brought air-conditioning into the dining and community rooms, installed electronic door openers to accommodate those with walkers, increased security on the property. A gazebo was built and the old pool area is now the Upper Garden – all alumni projects. As a first step, the Claretians have commissioned an architectural/engineering study of the historic building. This will provide an on-going and overall plan for sequenced improvements. The last major renovations were made 30 years ago. Consider making a pledge or gift before June 30, our fiscal year. More information is available on the website or by writing ClaretianAlumni@gmail.com

Claretian Keep Safe During Covid

        All of the men are well, and all who are able have gotten second booster shots. The chapel is still closed to the public. But members may receive scheduled visitors who are fully vaccinated, and meet in designated area. Museum tour are available by reservation on the Dominguez Rancho Adobe website. Regular school tours, and other educational activities, have also resumed.

St. Jude Seminary Class of ‘65 Celebrates 100 Zooms

        On February 19th, members of St. Jude Seminary Class of ‘65 and friends celebrated the convening of their 100th consecutive-Saturday Zoom session (Excluding Christmas Day 2021 and New Year’s Day 2022). These remote gatherings were launched to keep classmates in frequent contact with each other and to help minimize the isolation resulting from the growing Covid pandemic. Additionally, a seventh in-person reunion then in the planning stage was cancelled. Originating on March 14, 2020, these Saturday gatherings have principally been convened and orchestrated by Charlie Idarola from his home in San Jose, CA. Participants at the February 19 session included: John Papp, Charles Idarola, Gerry Burns, Bob Zeman, Bill Ryan, and Howie Harrington ‘65, Bill Jensen, Bill Wycisalo, Pat Reardon ’67, John Arnold, Fr. Mark Brummel ‘51 and Fr. John Raab and John Crowe, Claretville, ’63 and ‘64 respectively. Attendees shared that the meetings had strengthened their unique bond by offering a forum for camaraderie, fraternity and great good humor based on mutual sharing and respect. John Crowe the recently elected president of the Claretian Alumni Association and invited guest gave a brief personal history of his life while a Claretian. Additionally, he discussed the history and current programs and initiatives of the Claretian Alumni Association. As the Spring 2022 Issue of Profile goes to press, SJS Class of ‘65 and friends will have signed off from their 115 Saturday Zoom meeting and are currently planning their eighth in person reunion in Sister Bay, Door, County, WI from September 26 to 30 .

Alumni Return to Claretville

        Alumni and their families returned to Claretville in June for a picnic and tour.Many had not been on the property for 50 years. They toured the seminary building, the Gillette Mansion, and the novitiate.

The 588-acre property once owned by the Claretians is now the King Gillette Ranch, a park operated by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, National Park Service, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and California State Parks. The agencies purchased the land for $35 million, keeping it almost the same as Claretville in the 50s and 60s. The buildings are being maintained and used for public programs. The stables were converted to a visitor center for the Santa Monica National Park.

The alumni attending included Bill Johnson’63, Barry Guimond’64, John Crowe’64, Rudy Maldonado’56, Robert Garretson’61, Pierre Forgette’64, J.K. Smith’67, John Alavarez’67, David Fleckenstien’63, and Fr. John Raab’63.

A highlight was a visit to the large stone patio outside the novitiate which the Class of ’64 quarried and built. It was unclear if anyone made it to Inspiration Point.

Claretville photo

Alumni enjoying the Reunion Picnic in June are(l-r) Bill Johnson ‘63, Barry Guimond ’64, John Crowe ‘64, Rudy Maldonado ’56, Bob Garretson ‘61, Pierre Forgette ’64, Fr. Matthias Nwaiwu, J.K. Smith ‘67, and Fr. John Raab ’63. Not pictured, David Fleckenstein ‘63, and John Alvarez ’67.