It seems just when you have everything figured out and find a
place to settle in, God will invite you someplace entirely different. Tom Brock
thought his life was settled in the spring of 2008. He worked one job for more
than 20 years and volunteered at a retirement home running a bingo game for
more than 23 years.
Then, at age 45, he was let go from his job and found himself
saying “yes” to God as he moved to Bánica, Dominican Republic.
"Most of all, Tom gives an example of what it means to be a righteous man of God by the way he lives and by the way he treats every person."
Father Dan Gee, who was then pastor of San Francisco de Asís at
the Bánica mission, invited Brock to assist with mission work, including
hosting the American youth groups who visit throughout the year, according to
Father Keith O’Hare, pastor of San José Church in Pedro Santana. Father O’Hare described
Brock as kind, generous and humble.
“Most of all, Tom gives an example of what it means to be a
righteous man of God by the way he lives and by the way he treats every
person,” said Father O’Hare. “He does everything with a joyful spirit.”
The initial commitment was for two years, but Brock said he
intended to make a long-term commitment.
Brock is the director of the parish retreat center and bookkeeper
for the two mission parishes. He teaches a computer class to fifth- through
eighth-graders in the parish school.
Brock is also the in-country representative of Medical Missionaries,
an organization that provides medical care and supplies, clothing and food to
the poor. He provides logistical support to their clinic across the Haitian
border in Thomassique, according to Father O’Hare.
In addition, Brock said he manages a program administered by
Medical Missionaries that distributes lentil-based dried soup.
An avid volleyball player, he also coaches a girl’s high school
volleyball team in Bánica.
In 2014, Brock deepened his roots in Bánica. He married Bernam a
Dominican woman, and together they have a daughter named Emma.