(Dom Cavallaro died in late September
2002 after major by-pass surgery. He is survived by his wife Annie,
son Joey, his mother Esther and his sister Rosalie. Their home has been
at 171 Winchester Road, Northfield, Massachusetts 01360; 413-498-2129.)
RAPHAEL MARTIN ('52):
for Dominick Cavallaro (Dominic Thomas, '51) I have been a privileged
friend of Dominick Cavallaro for fifty years. Both of us went to Bishop
Dubois High School. We were taught by the Marist Brothers and eventually
became Marists ourselves, thanks to the recruiting abilities of tassel-swinging
Br. Aidan Francis. While with the Marists, Dom and I taught together,
prayed together, laughed together, and shared deeply personal thoughts
we were teaching at Mount St. Michael back in the late '60's, I asked
Dom: "What text are you going to use for your senior religion class?"
He said: "Two - the New Testament and Bernard Haring's The
Law of Love." He continued: "If the kids leave here not
knowing Christ, we're missing the boat as religion teachers." That
response touched me at a deep level. Over the years I've come to realize
that Dom was truly a person in love with the Lord. He always spoke from
the Christ-center in his heart. Those who have experienced his talk
on Antioch weekends certainly know this.
the early '60's Dom and I had gone as Marist missionaries to Japan.
What a joy it was being in a new culture and learning nuances of a new
but very difficult language. A few years after our return from Japan,
Dom and I talked about going into the Peace Corps as Marist Brothers.
We wanted to go as a Marist team to teach in Afghanistan. About the
time when the Peace Corps was ready to confirm our choice, Dom and I
were being moved in other directions. Dom had fallen in love with Annie,
the woman who was to become the joy of his heart and the love of his
life. As Dom drove me in his second-hand Mercedes to his parents' place
on Bruckner Boulevard for the best pasta in the world, all he could
talk about was his love for Annie and his thoughts of marrying her.
That summer Dom and Annie worked in the Bronx's inner city. That was
the turning point in their lives. Marriage would be down the road a
piece! On a day in June Dom and Annie pledged fidelity to one another.
I was privileged to be the best man.
a thought of a personal nature, offered to highlight Dom's compassionate
understanding. When we were teaching at Mount St. Michael, I was struggling
with whether or not I would stay connected with the Marist community.
I felt that I would betray a vocation if I were to leave. Not only that,
I was struggling with my identity as a gay man and had no one to talk
to about this deeply disquieting issue. I had to tell someone about
what was tearing me apart. After much deliberation I decided to share
it with the person I trusted most. Dom listened, was never judgmental,
spoke so positively of God's love for me, showed so much compassion.
He embraced me and told me that whatever I was, nothing would stand
in the way of his friendship and acceptance of me. What a loving affirmation!
I felt weights dropping from my shoulders at that moment. Dom held my
trust. It was truly a graced moment and has remained so over these many
few months ago I visited Dom, Annie, and Esther, Dom's mother, after
returning from studies in Italy. Dom sensed his time was going to be
shorter than he had hoped. During my three-day visit, Dom and I drove
up to a Byzantine Catholic retreat house in New Hampshire. He told me
how great a place it was, and how he loved the times when he could be
with the Lord on retreat. His priorities were in high order! Well, Dom,
you are now with the Lord making an endless retreat. As I look back
on your life lived with love and integrity, I thank you for being among
us and touching all of our lives the way you did