An Experience To Be Grateful For
Br. Tom Haerle CMF

Moving into Dominguez is a period in my life that I am most grateful for. In 2012 Fr. Rosendo Urrabazo invited me to come to the western part of our newly joined province to help care for the senior members there. Before that I had worked in Jamaica, and in Chicago at our house of discernment and inner-city parishes. When first arrived, Br. Modesto Leon invited me look after Fr. Jack Hencier. He was in a hospital near St. John of God and took a turn for the worse soon after I got there, and was having trouble breathing. The nurses’ station called a special unit that came to suction his throat. Shortly after that he expired. I stayed until the undertaker came, and we walked with the body to the hearse. There were many opportunities to share with my community. Each of us is unique and has a great opportunity to interact with our brother Claretians. Once we have had the opportunity to share our lives together, nobody can take that relationship away from us! The brotherhood that we share with you, our alumni, has a distinct role to play as we walk together. I am grateful that you have been a part of my life, for the special relationship we have as kindred spirits, for opportunities to share our lives together here, or at wakes and funerals. These past several years, I shared life with Frs. Sal Bonano, John Hampsch, Tom Joyce, Curley Gonzalez and Don Lavelle. It was very ful­lling to visit them outdoors on summer days and indoors on colder days. His niece, Lisa Zar, reminded me of how much Uncle Don appreciated me helping him find his place in his breviary for the recitation of the psalms each day before Mass. I enjoyed taking others with me to visit our men in nursing facilities. Once Fr. Tom and I visited Fr. Curley and played a game of balloons with him. Visiting became more difficult with Covid because nursing facilities had their own restrictions. I continue to long for the day when I can go visit my brothers in nursing facilities again. I had many opportunities to share in different types of ministries due to the fact that I was open to challenging myself to do new things. Fr. Richard DeTore knew how to throw a party and had an amazing collection of movies that he shared with us. Following Richard’s lead, I plan a weekly list of 3 or 4 movies that describes what they are about so members can choose one they want to watch that Tuesday. I also oversee a Holy Hour on Thursday evenings so anyone can come and spend time in personal prayer, ending with petitions for a variety of needs and Benediction. Frs. Milton Alvarez, Matthias Nwaiwu, Bob Bishop, John Raab and myself are among the regulars.