Tom Brock makes a long-term commitment to Bánica mission

First slide

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.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016

@eelliottACH