2023 Spring Alumni Profile

Life at Dominguez 2022

Ron and Joe working on the finishing touches on the patio cover and storage doors at the upper garden.

We thirteen are a rich mix of Claretians, foreign-born and native.

Other brothers come and go throughout the year, some to stay, and others on visit. The third year of lockdown, with scheduled visitors only, remains virus-free, thanks to our careful nurse and vigilant superior. Stationary bikes, a small gym, and regular walks to the gate-even as Fr. Sherwood keeps us strong and healthy. Massages come every three weeks, and a barber for trims.

Zooming keeps us productive in ministry; phone calls in touch with the world.

Daily Masses, meals, in-house parties on holidays, birthdays, and BBQs in the Upper Garden, or behind the Adobe, with others from Mission and Tepeyac House, socialize us. And, occasionally, family visits, vacations, and outings to the beach, Huntington Library, or Exhibition Park to see King Tut, programs at LMU, deanery events, the Priest Convocation at the cathedral. Music recitals, and the archdiocese’s Jubilee Mass for reopening SGM, restored after the arson. Public events, tours and school programs at the Adobe Museum add excitement to the place. Fr. Domingo and Fr. Bonano’s funerals were held here in our chapel with a few guests; Fr. Curran’s was at San Gabriel with parishioners and friends.

Above all, the outdoor, in-person reunion in August, and virtual reunion in October in view of the seminary’s coming Centenary- not to mention, the famous, repeat “Drive-By” Christmas party in our parking lot make us feel connected. As did Myres and Podzemik, working, on and off, on new roofing and doors in the Upper Garden. Tuesday movie nights, Thursday Holy Hours, Friday nights with Bill Maher, and Sunday “60 Minutes” pulled us out of our man caves. Faith sharing at monthly days of recollection deepened our understanding of Scripture, and each other, and kept the heart of our Claretian mission alive here at Dominguez.

41st Reunion Brings Alumni Back In-Person

More than 40 alumni and spouses gathered for the 41st Annual Alumni Reunion at Dominguez Seminary on Aug. 26. This was the first in-person in two years due the seminary being closed to visitors during Co-Vid epidemic.

Fr. Brian Culley ‘80 CMF, superior at the seminary, said Mass in the Upper Garden, formerly the site of the pool. During the Mass and

Fr. Marty Kirk CMF ’56 was honored with the annual Alumni Tribute Award.

A traditional chicken BBQ lunch was served. The raffle winners were drawn with Noel O’Neil ‘67/’69 wining the top prize of $500 (and donating it back to the event. Thanks to generous sponsorships donations, the fundraising event was able to contribute $17,000 to the Centenary Campaign.

The 42nd Annual Alumni Reunion will be held on Saturday, Aug 26, 2023 at Dominguez Seminary.

Alumni Gather on Zoom for Virtual Reunion

The 3rd Annual Virtual Reunion was held via Zoom on Oct. 23, the eve of St. Anthony Claret’s feast day. Bob Carey’64 led an interesting two-hour conversation on the impact and importance of Claretian formation on our lives. More than 40 alumni joined the meeting from throughout the nation, including Honolulu, Buffalo, New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, and many parts of the Southwest.

Fr. Marty Kirk CMF ’56 was honored with the Alumni Tribute Award. Pat Reardon ’68/’71wrote and delivered a beautiful tribute to

Fr. Marty. Pat’s essay is posted on the alumni website, www.claretianalumni.com See “Tribute.” The Tribute is given each year to a departed Claretian who was significant in our lives as seminarians.

Alumni Provide Great Support for Centenary Campaign

Alumni are digging deep to support the Dominguez Seminary Centenary Campaign, with more than $300,000 raised as the campaign begins its third year. The goal is $500,000 with funds needed to modernize the seminary building, now used as the primary residence for retired Claretian priests and brothers in the USA-CANADA Province. The total includes gifts from alumni and gifts made by special donors matching the alumni gifts.

During 2022, the Alumni Council commissioned several architectural studies to determine the viability and cost of modernizing the nearly 100-year-old building. Initial studies determined the structure is sound, with structural work done in the last remodel 30 years ago still good. A series of electrical, plumbing and HVAC reviews have outline approximately $750,000 in improvements as the historical building enters a new century.

The historic year will begin Oct. 24, 2024 on the anniversary of the Dominguez Family deeding the 17 acres property and historic rancho the Claretians for use as a seminary. Several events are being planned to celebrate the history of Dominguez Seminary and the contributions of the Claretians to the southwest.

Alumni Council Looks at Mission and Tasks

The Alumni Council gathered for a planning session in November, examining the mission and tasks underway or planned.

Fr. Rosendo Urrabazo CMF ’70/’72, provincial for the USA-CANADA province, and Fr. Mark Brummel CMF ’51, joined the discussion. The mission, as staffed in the by-laws, was boarded to include all retired Claretians, not just those residing at Dominguez. Serving retired Claretians is the first priority in our mission. The Council is seeking new ways to support the Dominguez residents, through seasonal events, trips or personal visits. They will also look at how to serve Claretian retirees living in other Claretian communities The Council will be looking for new ways to connect alumni outside of the reunions. The Dominguez Centenary remains the immediate priority with the building fund campaign and a year of programming celebrating the seminary’s 100th year of founding in late 1924. Council members also voiced support for an online publication devoted to spiritual and personal development, with original articles and commentary from other sources.

The Alumni Council, the governing board of the Claretian Alumni Association, meets twice yearly via Zoom. If you are interested in joining or learning more about the Alumni Council, please write to ClaretianAlumni@gmail.com.

Father Robert Bishop

With a degree in canon law from Catholic University of America, in WDC, I served on diocesan marriage tribunals in Seattle,

Los Angeles, and the Maronite eparchy, dealing with the validity of marriages, first as an advocate for couples, and then as Defender of the Bond and judge. For the longest time, I did a regular Sunday Mass in the Tridentine rite here at Dominguez, and at St. Therese parish in Alhambra. I was often called on to preach retreats in various places. I also learned the Byzantine rite in order to help out at parishes in WDC, Phoenix, and Southern California. My studies in canon law at CUA came between parish assignments at St. Anthony’s in Phoenix and San Gabriel Mission.

The way you members of our alumni association remember what you learned here and are now using in your parishes, and for the good of the Church, is marvelous. I am very happy to have been able to satisfy the desires of those who want the Latin Mass. My family became Catholic because of the beauty of the rite. My own pastor was very reverent in celebrating mass, and preaching, and that inspired me in my vacation to the Religious life, where I have learned how to get along with others as brothers.

My mom was impressed with the Catholic school at St. Augustine

Parish near where we lived in Memphis because the kids were better trained, and the education was more spiritual. Later, when we moved to Los Angeles, we joined the Catholic Church, and were baptized at Holy Name of Jesus parish, except for my dad who preferred no religion at all.

There was a Methodist church near our house in Memphis. My grandparents were Baptists, and my mother played the piano in a Baptist church but did not like the way Baptists carried on. Here in Los Angeles, there is no segregation, but Holy Name was all Black. I loved the Irish priests. I had wanted to be a priest already when I was Baptist because of the beauty of the mass. It was more sacred; there was no jumping up and down.

The showmanship of Protestant pastors was a negative for me. I was a brother for two years because of trouble with Latin; Father Hyman made the decision. So, I worked in the tailor shop, and learned how to make cassocks. However, Latin was not a problem later on. Father Joe Nuevo told me to ask Father Peter Schweiger, the superior general, who was here on visitation, and he allowed me to become a priest, at last, even though Father Michael Cecere, the provincial, was against it. Some others wondered what was going on when Father Felix Beperet began teaching me the essential Latin words I would need for the mass and sacrament.