Looking at Brother Dom sitting in a student’s desk chair, he looks comfortable and welcoming, but it seems that something is missing. It wasn’t the sparkle in his eye or the warmth he exudes, but maybe a bit of yellow to go with his Christian Brother’s garb. As he cracks a joke and sits back in his chair Brother Dom reveals that he is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home of the black and yellow. But how did Brother Dom find his way 2,568 miles away from Pittsburgh, PA and land in Moraga, California?
Brother Dominic’s journey began at a very young age. His mother gave birth to him, but the odds were piling against him. The doctor told Brother Dom’s parents that he would not make it because of a bad case of pneumonia. Sad and devastated, Brother Dom’s mother wanted to make sure that if her son were not to survive he would be at home surrounded by love. Brother Dom becomes a little calmer when he gets into this story and puts the jokes aside. He goes on to say how his uncle dressed as a doctor, walked into the baby’s nursery and took Brother Dom out of his crib. Brother Dominic clearly survived, but his mother did not share this story with him for a specific reason: she did not want to influence his decisions in life.
It seems as if someone has always been watching Brother Dominic throughout his life path. He attended high school in Pittsburgh at Central Catholic. He was inspired by the Brothers at his school and the diversity that they brought to the table. In one day they could coach him in softball and lead a mass in church, which was something that he was amazed by. Brother Dom then went on to Rome and Asia, where he was able to travel and make a difference. Becoming a brother has opened his eyes to so much across the world; Brother Dominic shared that he “would have been a coal worker if I never left Pittsburgh.”
It was not always easy for Brother Dominic. He was assigned to a poor school in Portland after not being invited back to an organization. After that, he struggled with the idea of staying with the brotherhood. He thought about the other options that he could have chosen, “I can still leave now and raise 8 kids, I’m an Italian remember.” Brother Dominic was struggling, but was lead to a better light by the children of Portland. In Brother Dominic’s words, “Those kids, those kids in Portland, they truly saved my life.”
Being a Pittsburgh native, along with Brother Dom, there is no doubt that he has stuck with his roots. When asked what he missed most about his hometown, Brother Dom stated “I miss the upbeat and positive people that Pittsburgh produces. Everyone there has a smile and warmth about them at all times.” What Brother Dom did not realize while he was reminiscing is that he just described himself. It is clear that Brother Dom has experienced a lot through his travels, but he stayed connected to his home roots. Going back to the story of Brother Dom’s birth, there is no question that he survived off of his family’s love and the love of God. It is only fitting that Brother Dom followed his path to become a Brother and to be at St. Mary’s College of California. Seeing his smile and hearing his raspy, yet warm and deep, laugh there is no doubt that Brother Dominic Berardelli is where he was supposed to end up.