Br. Dominic Aquinas Berardelli, FSC, Passes On

By: Romi Beza, Friday, December 29th, 2017 12:51 pm PST
Filed under: Headlines!

Dec. 29, 2017 — Our beloved Br. Dominic Aquinas Berardelli, FSC (John Anthony Berardelli) passed away yesterday December 28, 2017 at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center, Napa, CA.  Br. Dom, as he was fondly called, just fell days short of his milestone 80th birthday on Jan. 6 next year.

Br. Dom had been in delicate health since early 2017 but nevertheless possessed positive attitude and humor that colleagues and friends hoped would eventually bring him to eventual full recovery. It was not meant to be, it turns out.

The gregarious Brother had been the DLSAANC’s main sponsor whenever we held summer picnics both St. Mary’s College in Moraga and Mont La Salle in Napa. At Moraga, he would enthusiastically tour Filipino Lasallian alumni, their family and hopefully future SMC students around the campus on his golf cart that was lovingly called the “Bromobile.” Said cart would carry the flags of the Vatican, the USA and his adopted country, the Philippines.

Br. Dom was born and educated in Pennsylvania. He completed both his undergraduate and masters degrees from La Salle College in Philadelphia. He also received a honorary degree from La Salle University in Obregon, Mexico.

Br. Dom was assigned to the Philippines at a time when the only Catholic country in Asia was under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco District of the Christian Brothers. A big part of his love of the adopted country was because he took his final vows as a Christian Brother there on April 2, 1963, about 8 years after initially entering the education-oriented religious order. He carried on his initial teaching zeal among the very engaging Filipino students — rich and poor alike since he was assigned at the Green Hills and Iligan campuses during his stint there. Perhaps, the root of his affection for the adopted country was because his fun-loving and humorous temperament was Filipino-like. He loved Filipino food, too, and yearned for crispy pata whenever he met-up with Filipino alumni.

Br. Dom was a Christian Brother for a total of 62 years and his mission brought him around the world, including Sri Lanka, Australia and the Vatican. His more interesting stories would inevitably be about the tumultuous assignments he had in pre-martial law Philippines and war-torn Sri Lanka.

After the Philippine District was established, Br. Dom returned to the San Francisco District by first teaching at Pasadena, CA, where he has some family, and then north to Napa. Eventually, Br. Dom took on administrative positions and St. Mary’s College in Moraga proved to be the best fit. He was in his element as Special Assistant to the President because of the ease he was able to deal with the various sectors of the SMC community as well as the town of Moraga.  Br. Dom was popular at the Moraga campus — an icon, if you will — and also organized student volunteer charity tours to Mexico and the Philippines. Br. Dom’s vibrant personality matched the energy of the young college students. He resisted late efforts to have him move to the Mont La Salle retirement community until frail health gave him no other choice.

At what turned out to be an abbreviated stay in Mont La Salle, Br. Dom brought his usual energy despite all odds. He was often the most engaged Brother during their community gatherings that you would not think he had health issues. He enjoyed several visits from former colleagues in the Philippines as well as Filipino alumni.

We will miss Br. Dom’s energy, smile and conviviality! Go with God and rest in peace, Br. Dom!

Memorial Services: 

Friday, January 12 @ Saint Mary’s College of California, 1928 St. Mary’s Rd., Moraga – Main Chapel Viewing: 6:00 PM –7:00 PM
Service: 7:00 PM – 7:45 PM
Small Reception to follow

Saturday, January 13 @ Mont La Salle, 4401 Redwood Road, Napa – Main Chapel Reception of the body (Conference Center Banquet Room Outdoor Walkway): 9:00 AM Viewing (Rotunda): 9:15 AM – 10:00 AM
Funeral Mass: 10:00 AM
Burial to follow Mass
Luncheon in Conference Center Banquet Room to follow burial